Budget negotiations still underway in Albany as new fiscal year begins
New York is officially late on passing its new budget -- and signs of it being completed soon are bleak.
Among the issues still unresolved are education, help for small businesses and new taxes on upper-income New Yorkers.
"There's a lot of different constituencies that really need help and we want to make sure we do it correctly while making sure the state budget is fiscally sound," says state Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach).
News 12 has been told a sizeable jump in school aid and universal pre-K are very much on the table, but then there's the issue of how it's funded, and that's where the possible tax comes into play.
The tax would be for people earning $1 million per year and up. That would affect 20,000 residents of Long Island and Westchester.
Opponents of the tax hike say it isn't needed due to the money the state just got in the federal stimulus plan.
"My concern with the tax increases is that it may set us up for more and more tax increases down the road because these huge increases in spending are going to have to be paid for," says state Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square).
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers who are outnumbered nearly 2-1 by Democrats are critical of the process and put some of the blame on the governor.
"Some of the Democratic majority members have painted themselves in a corner. They've been calling for an increase in taxes. The governor's issues as well, being a distraction. I think that's also a concern," says state Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk).
"We haven't heard a word. They have not included us in one conversation. So how do we represent our districts? How do we make sure we're fighting for our districts when they're not even including us in the conversation?" says state Sen. Alexis Weik (R-Sayville).
Many legislators chose not to be at the Capitol in Albany for the budget process, instead taking part remotely. Some who did come to Albany have headed home, saying they're prepared to come back over the weekend or even next week.