It’s the busiest time of year in the state Capitol as lawmakers and the governor hammer out the details of a state budget that could end up being well over $200 billion. Political strategist Jack O’Donnell says Gov. Kathy Hochul is looking to put a “personal stamp” on this budget.
For decades, the budget was negotiated behind closed doors with just three men in the room. The doors of the room where the budget negotiations happen may still be closed, but there will be two women, Hochul and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, along with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Despite having control of all the statewide offices and legislative supermajorities, the budget could be late due to an intraparty fight among the Democrats. O’Donnell says the budget is part of an ongoing battle on whether the Democratic Party is a “center-left or a "far-left” party.
While the budget is due on April 1, the government won’t necessarily shut down without an agreement. But the lawmakers will need to come to an agreement on a short-term deal by April 3 to make sure state employees are paid when paychecks go out on April 6.