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Skelos chats budget, minimum wage, Senate special election

ALBANY – The Legislature’s top Republican said the sides are getting closer to a state budget deal, but there is still no overall agreement on the actual size of the fiscal plan.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said today he is “still optimistic’’ for an on-time budget before the April 1 fiscal year start. Also still up in the air is how state money will be distributed to the state’s 700 school districts – always one of the last and most contentious issues before budget deals.

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The Long Island Republican said he also thinks Gov. Andrew Cuomo is cozying up to legislative requests to make public how billions of dollars in proposed transportation spending will be distributed on specific construction projects and with “parity’’ between upstate and Long Island roads and bridges and New York City transit projects.

Skelos said he is also “fairly confident’’ a plan by Cuomo to let him transfer some state money around different agencies later in the year without separate legislative approval will be removed in the final budget deal.

Speaking outside the Senate chamber, Skelos said lawmakers are also pressing to have more legislative input in decisions by Cuomo’s regional economic development councils, including legislative say on composition of the panels and on the “mega-projects’’ the different commissions want to fund.

 -- Tom Precious

 

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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