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Today's budget word is...

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Framework.

It's the word reporters, lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are all hot on this week to describe the coming point in the budget talks when the sides will announce a budget deal. As in, the framework of a budget deal.

They can't really say "final deal'' because there are always bumps in the road during the period of time between when a framework deal is announced and when the fiscal staffs have one last round of editing to make sure no one is trying to pull a fiscal fast one in the complex wording that can make up a budget.

"Framework'' is a term that has come and gone over the years. At one point at the Capitol, the sides liked "conceptual.'' Then there was the short-lived "virtual'' period. And there was the year one legislative leader used the term "virtual conceptual'' to describe a budget deal before the actual budget bills were printed.

For those keeping track, budget bills must be introduced before Monday at midnight if they are to go through the legally required -- though often violated -- three-day bill aging process for a vote on Thursday, the day when lawmakers are hoping to leave Albany for the religious holiday period.

So, here's hoping someone -- anyone -- will toss out "framework'' after this morning's four-men-in-a-room budget talks with the governor and legislative leaders.

UPDATE: Rest easy, no framework deal today, legislative leaders reported this morning after their meeting with Cuomo. The betting among reporters and lawmakers seems to be split around a framework deal announcement on Sunday evening or Monday morning with budget bills ready for passage starting on Thursday. That all assumes no fiscal blow-ups.

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Andrew Cuomo
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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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