Late Saturday, March 13th and early Sunday, March14th, the Assembly and Senate released their one-House budget proposals, and passed their respective budget resolutions on Monday, March 15th. The most notable omission from both plans is the Governor’s proposal to legalize adult-use of recreational marijuana. Instead, both Houses are currently close to a deal on the issue and are hoping to pass it outside of the State Budget soon. The final hurdle the issue faces in discussions is concerns regarding traffic safety.
Both Houses’ proposals also included several new, but differing, sections imposing or raising various taxes. A few of the new proposals include raising the income tax rates for New York’s most wealthy individuals, a 1% surcharge on income from capital gains for individuals earning more than $1 million annually, and a new surcharge to be applied to corporate franchise taxpayers, insurance taxpayers, and corporate utility taxpayers.
Now that both Houses have passed their budget resolutions, the Assembly, Senate and the Governor will hold discussions to determine the final budget, which must be passed by April 1st. However, the many scandals surrounding the Governor’s office have made Budget discussions difficult this year. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who has previously called for Governor Cuomo to resign, said, “I haven’t actually met with the Governor, but he hasn’t actually asked me to meet with him.”
Lastly, the Senate and Assembly have announced the list of Joint Budget Conference Committees. During the week of March 15th to March 19th, the Committees held their introductory meetings, and will continue to meet over the next two weeks to discuss the one-House Budget proposals and attempt to resolve any differences. You can find a full list of the committees and their members here: https://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/?sec=story&story=96037