Monday, March 28, 2011

Cuomo Questioned on Budget

After the great fanfare surrounding the unveiling of the budget on Sunday passed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took some questions about the budget and elaborated on its specifics, which are being announced on Monday.
The governor announced that the living wage for homecare workers is in the budget, and said that a medical malpractice cap had been left out because of a disagreement about its net effect.
Following an inquiry about the role of the Legislature in the governor's Regional Economic Development Councils, which had had been a major point of contention, Cuomo revealed that there will be no formal role for the Legislature. He did suggest that legislators will be used for their regional expertise on the implementation of certain projects. Of important note, though, Cuomo said the $130 million funding the councils would not be moved from Legislature, but would be found in other parts of the budget. At a previous press conference, the governor had said that taking the funding from the Legislature had been a major hold up.
On the related issue of money for areas impacted for prison closures, Cuomo said it was included in the budget.
In response to a question about timetable for his prison closing plan, Cuomo said it would take about 60 days, with the one-year notice requirement eliminated. He added the same schedule would be in place for the Juvenile Justice Facilities.
Cuomo noted that there will still be details for the Conference COmmittees to handle on Monday when they meet, which turned out to be true throughout Monday, as subcommittees left certain details for the larger body. He did contend that there are no areas of contention left to “blow up” the deal and argued that “this is an actual agreement”.
Cuomo said he expects bills to be sent up on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Tim Atkins of StateWatch)

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