A fourth state budget extender was approved and signed, but a final deal proved elusive on Friday.

While the gears were turning and progress appeared to be made, the extenders are necessary to keep state government funded until whatever agreement is eventually reached makes its way through the legislative process.

Blair Horner, executive director of the civic-minded group NYPIRG, told Spectrum News 1 that 11 days and four extenders later, this is far from the latest budget Albany has seen.

“We New Yorkers can always hope that Albany follows the rules,” he said. “This year, they are not and we will see what happens.”

He said extenders are the traditional means to keep employees paid and the essentials running while negotiations continue.

“It extends, essentially, the previous year’s fiscal spending, and that’s the way to keep the government running,” he said.

Not getting paid as part of the extenders are the lawmakers responsible for passing the budget. Horner said that’s by design.

“It was part of a budget reform process several years ago to basically force the legislature to take the budget deadline more seriously,” he said. “It had no effect as far as I can tell.”

Assembly Member Alex Bores argued that even if the budget is late, not getting paid sends a message to the public about the broader goal of legislative work.

“It shows to constituents that we’re really doing it for the right reasons because we have personal cost in delaying the budget,” he said.

That delay, he hopes, is worth it in the end.

“We want to get the budget right. No one wants it to going long, but it feels very collegial in doing that,” he said. “We’re all working on behalf of New Yorkers.”

The Republican minority railed against the late budget.

Assembly Member Ed Ra said the public is being negatively impacted by the debate in Albany.

“School districts are going to have less than a week, even if we pass a budget next week, knowing what the situation is with Foundation Aid and they have to put that budget out to the public,” he said.

As for not getting paid until the budget passes, he conceded that it is part of the process, but frustration among Republicans primarily lies with how Democrats are handling that process.

“There is one party in control of government and passing a budget is one of the most fundamental things we need to do every session,” he said. “Last year, we went into May, and here we are again into the second week of April. So I think the members are frustrated with this process.”