The state Senate passed three budget bills on Sunday and expected to work through mid-week.
A planned spring break for lawmakers began on Friday, but the Senate’s leaders said they would not leave until the $135 billion budget for 2013-14 was passed, despite upcoming religious holidays.
The bills passed Sunday dealt with funding for capital projects, public safety, transportation, economic development and environmental conservation.
“We expect that all the other budget bills will be introduced tonight and that they would be live Wednesday,” Skelos said, “and that there will be no messages of necessity. They will be on the desks for three days.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been adamant about passing the budget by the April 1 deadline, which would make it the third on-time budget in a row, a first since 1984. But the governor is trying to avoid using a “message of necessity,” which would allow the Legislature to skip the three-day waiting period.
Cuomo has been sharply criticized for using such a memo to quickly pass a controversial gun-control law in January.
The budget closes a $1.3 billion deficit and increases spending for schools by more than $1 billion, to a total of $21 billion. It includes a deal to extend higher income taxes on millionaires and provide $350 rebate checks to families with children in 2014.
The budget also includes tax breaks for businesses and includes a three-year phase in of an increase in the minimum wage—from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour by 2016.
Lawmakers said Sunday some sticking points were technical changes to the gun law and a bailout package for a struggling public hospital in Brooklyn.
Skelos said the budget would “indefinitely postpone” an April 15 effective date for a provision in the gun law that prohibits the sale of 10-bullet magazines. There would also be an exemption of the assault weapons ban and bullet limit for on-duty police officers, he said.
Watch the interview with Skelos here: