ALBANY -- With the clock ticking, and spring vacation starting for many lawmakers this weekend, negotiators did not get all the remaining budget bills onto lawmakers' desks by midnight last night in order to age them for three days to get the final budget in place on Thursday.
Two pieces of legislation -- a 72-page revenue bill and the 92-page health bill -- did hit the legislature's bill drafting system just a short while ago. The health bill is S6256D and A9056D; the revenue bill is S6259D and A9059D.
Both of those bills are the Article VII "language'' bills needed to implement the spending. Missing are the actual appropriation bills, as well as the big -- and always contentious -- education spending and language bills. Still ongoing are fights over distribution of state aid to 700 school districts and whether to keep teacher evaluation report cards secret from the public.
All this means, for clock watchers, that the 2012 budget will not be in place until Friday. That is unless Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives lawmakers a message of necessity to avoid the three-day aging process mandated by the constitution.
UPDATE: Still awaiting introduction of final budget bills on state operations, aid to localities, capital spending, education and the spending plans for the Legislature and Judiciary.
UPDATE: Appears major budget bills have now been introduced. No school aid numbers yet for individual districts. Since some things never change in Albany, that will be last minute as a way, in large part, to keep rank-and-file lawmakers from grumbling and insisting on changes to districts back home.
-- Tom Precious