Possible deal on NY state budget emerges

(AP) -- The speaker of the New York state Assembly floated a deal Thursday that he said could end the ongoing state budget stalemate, though it remains to be seen whether it will be accepted by the Senate.

Bronx Democrat Carl Heastie said the potential compromise involves a deal on charter school funding, one of the last sticking points in the way of a budget, which was due April 1. He said there also are possible deals on an affordable housing tax credit and a plan to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, two of the other remaining issues preventing a budget agreement.

"I think we're making progress to try to close this down so we can have a complete budget," Heastie told reporters. "I think there's a desire by everybody to just get this done."

A spokesman for Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan, however, said that while Flanagan is discussing the possible compromise with members of his chamber, it's too soon to say there's an agreement.

"Sen. Flanagan met this morning with the governor and other legislative leaders, and talks centered around a potential compromise that would bring resolution to the budget," said spokesman Scott Reif, who added, "While we have had these discussions, there is no final deal."

The budget was due by Saturday. Negotiations broke down Wednesday when the Senate abruptly left the Capitol. Lawmakers have already approved a two-month emergency extension of the last budget to avoid a government shutdown. That short-term spending plan expires May 31.

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