As lawmakers continue to debate the state budget ahead of its expected passage Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders from the Senate and Assembly held a Red Room press conference to tout the budget as a product of cooperation and a positive development for New Yorkers.
Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, stood before rank-and-file lawmakers and the press to mark the new spending plan — which takes effect Sunday — and pose for photo ops as Cuomo signed one of the already-passed budget bills.
As it stands, both the Senate and Assembly are continuing to debate some of the remaining budget bills, but should be wrapped up by early evening.
“Thank you all very much for this really great product on behalf of all the people of the state of New York,” Cuomo said to legislative leaders. “This has been an extraordinary achievement, and it’s a very proud day for the entire state.”
Cuomo, Silver and Skelos have done plenty of back-patting since coming to an agreement on the $132.6 billion budget earlier this week. Their message has been focused on highlighting the cooperation between the chambers and the governor’s office, as well as keeping the state spending increase to 2 percent and delivering the budget on time for the second year in a row.
“Through this agreement, I am pleased to say that we keep that promise to increase our investment in public education, a cornerstone of our economy,” Silver said.
As for what’s next, Cuomo declined to say what he would be focusing on for the remainder of the legislative session, which wraps up in June. When asked if he would continue to push for a reform of the state’s campaign finance system, he was brief: “Yes.”