Gov. Cuomo reaches budget deal with state lawmakers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and the New York Legislature have announced a tentative 2012 budget deal that will start working on closing the state's $10 billion deficit.

Officials made the announcement last night, five days before the deadline. The $132.5 billion budget reduces overall spending by 2 percent. Under the plan, Medicaid will be redesigned, and both next year's education and Medicaid spending will be capped.

Other changes include restoring $272 million in cuts to education funding and eliminating 4,000 prison beds. Officials say 9,800 state workers could also be laid off.

"I hope this is the template for a new era of cooperation," said Cuomo, who hopes to make it the first on-time budget passed in five years.

At this time, the budget doesn't call for tax increases on state residents; however, local officials, including state Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R-Westchester) complain that the budget's cost-cutting simply shifts the burden to county taxpayers.

The budget still must be approved by the Legislature, and individual bills within the budget need to be voted on.

Gov. Cuomo, Legislature agree on tentative budget

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