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Cuomo: good better than on-time

ALBANY – Early, early, early. That’s been the mantra for weeks by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators about getting the 2012 state budget done before the March 31 deadline.

On Friday, Cuomo appeared to be trying to downplay expectations, which at one point had soared to the point that some officials were boasting a budget would have even been in place by now.

“It doesn’t need to be early from my point of view … I’d like to see it on time if we can. Most importantly, I want to see a good budget. Whether we get it done on time or not is less important to me than whether or not it’s a good budget,’’ Cuomo said this morning on the Capitol Pressroom, a public radio show.

Cuomo did say there are “significant issues’’ still on the negotiating table, though he did not get into specifics on what major issues still separate the sides.

One matter being pushed by Assembly Democrats is to get money for pork barrel spending, or member items, a process that allows individual legislators to steer state money for specific projects in their districts.

Asked about that matter, Cuomo said, “I don’t support new member items in the budget, so they’re not in the budget at this time.’’

“New’’ is an interesting word, especially since some lawmakers are pushing for restoration of member item spending previously approved in past budgets – let’s call it “old” – but not spent.

Then there is the out Cuomo left himself by saying member items are not in the budget “at this time.’’ As in, stay tuned.

-- 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.

[email protected]


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.

[email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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