News & Politics

Hochul offers three-day budget extender

The extension is short, but that doesn’t mean a budget deal is imminent.

Gov. Kathy Hochul makes an economic development announcement in Vestal, NY.

Gov. Kathy Hochul makes an economic development announcement in Vestal, NY. Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul officially ended the hope for an on-time budget on Wednesday evening. She announced she will deliver to lawmakers a spending extender until April 4 to keep the government running past the start of the new fiscal year on April 1. But if last year is any indication, the short timeline doesn't necessarily indicate that a deal is imminent. 

In a statement, Hochul said that she, state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie have been negotiating for weeks, but haven't quite reached a deal. “While I believe a final agreement is within reach, I recognize many New Yorkers would like to spend the holiday weekend with family and loved ones,” Hochul said. Both legislative leaders indicated this week that they were “on the same planet” in terms of finding an agreement, though they also warned to expect a stopgap spending measure

This is the third year in a row that state officials failed to approve a budget before the deadline, necessitating an extender. Last year, Hochul delivered an extender on April 3 that lasted until April 10. But the budget was not finished by April 10, and the state Legislature went on to approve five more short-term spending extensions before the budget was finally passed in early May, over a month late.

The budget approved in 2022 offers a little more optimism about how quickly leaders can come to an agreement. The spending plan that year was a little over a week late and officials only needed to pass a single extender

Both chambers of the state Legislature are set to approve the first of the 10 budget bills on Thursday. The debt services bill is traditionally passed before the April 1 budget deadline, even if the rest of the budget bills are late, to ensure the state doesn't default on its loans. As of Wednesday night, it was still unclear whether lawmakers would also pass the first extender on Thursday. A spokesperson for the Assembly Democratic conference said that members needed to discuss. A spokesperson for the state Senate Democratic conference did not immediately return a request for comment.