No budget deal yet.
Political analyst and lobbyist Jack O’Donnell, managing partner at O’Donnell & Associates, told Capital Tonight that, at the end of the day, the blame for budget tardiness will fall on the governor, whether it’s her fault or not.
“This is on her. It hits her more than it does individual legislators who have been here. So, she’s the one who needs to bear it,” he said. “But we’ve also heard, sort of under their breath from the legislators, complaining that some of the administration folks are new to this. That doesn’t mean that they’re bad at it, but it means that it’s a different rhythm.”
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Gov. Kathy Hochul is negotiating her first budget as governor. She threw a wrench into the process two weeks prior to the budget deadline by asking lawmakers to roll back two of their marquis victories: Bail and discovery reform.
According to O’Donnell, for progressive lawmakers, any significant diminution of bail reform could be a danger to them politically.
“I think that’s a huge deal breaker. I mean the politics of it are really important. For a lot of downstate legislators who fought really hard for this bail reform,” he said. “At the same time, in the same conferences, we’ve got people — especially in the suburbs — whether that’s upstate or on Long Island, who are hearing the other side of it.”
During a press gaggle Monday morning, state Assembly Speaker Heastie told reporters that his conference hadn’t yet conferenced the Buffalo Bills stadium deal, but they “landed in a good place on discovery."
He also said that everything is still very much in flux.
When asked about two specific issues, O’Donnell also indicated that talks were continually evolving.
“Child care is in. The question is how much,” O’Donnell said referring to what could be a $3 billion investment in child care. “Alcohol-to-go seems unlikely to be in, but maybe at a tipping point.”