Governor Andrew Cuomo seemed to hint on Monday that a finalized budget deal could be around the corner.
However, in Albany, there is a saying that a budget agreement has to fall apart three times before it is officially finalized. So it remains to be seen if a deal will be announced any time soon.
“This budget is probably the most complicated, the most ambitious, and the hardest budget that we have done,” Cuomo said during a press call. "This is a post-crisis budget. We have federal funds. We have state funds. We have reconstruction, we have to do, we have relief that we have to do. And we have to rebuild an economy in a post-COVID world where economies all across the globe are going to be trying to rebuild.”
Cuomo continued, “but we have a conceptual agreement on all issues, I think it's fair to say, the Senate, the Assembly and myself.”
One of the main issues still is how mobile sports betting will be rolled out in New York. Cuomo is in favor of a lottery-style system, but this would leave out commercial casinos that operate brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Lawmakers are still in negotiations over this proposal and how this process will work is muddied.
State Budget Director Rob Mujica tried to clear the waters, but still left quite a few questions.
“The way the draft of the bill right now is, is as the governor described, the state would contract with entities who would then contract with the state, and we would get the revenue and they would conduct the online gaming,” Mujica said.
The budget is now almost a week late and was due on April 1 at midnight. There is still no word on budget extenders either, which would keep the government running and avoid any payroll disruptions for state workers while lawmakers and the governor continue to hash out a finalized budget deal.
In non-budget news, Cuomo also announced that 90 percent of jurisdictions have submitted public safety reform plans, calling it "a remarkable achievement." These police reform plans were due on April 1.
“I am not saying that every plan is the be all and end all,” Cuomo said. “I think some of the plans are just the first step. And we'll need further advancement and refinement.”
The Health Department also announced on the press call Monday that "very shortly" they will be releasing guidance on the three-feet-between-desks rule in schools that is already being advised by the CDC.
"Every school is a little bit different on this and we need to work with local school districts," Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said.