The Latest: Cuomo details $168B New York budget deal
Mar. 31, 2018
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on the New York state budget (all times local):
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a new $168.3 billion budget agreement reached with lawmakers includes surcharges on taxi, Uber and Lyft rides in Manhattan and a new state sexual harassment policy written following the #MeToo movement.
The Democrat briefed reporters on the spending deal Friday night as lawmakers worked late to approve a budget before a new fiscal year begins Sunday.
The budget deal also includes $1 billion in new education spending, investments in water quality and money to fight Lyme disease.
The agreement contains one new tax, a fee on opioid manufacturers and distributors intended to fund efforts to combat addiction.
Lawmakers also inserted language to create a commission to examine whether members of the Senate and Assembly deserve a pay raise.
New sexual harassment protections for all employees of state and local governments in New York are being approved for the new state budget.
The Republican-led Senate passed legislation Friday that cracks down on sexual harassment in the workplace, a national issue in the wake of allegations made against several prominent men in the entertainment and media industries.
The measure's provisions include prohibiting secret harassment settlements involving state officials and ensuring taxpayers don't have to pay when a public official settles a harassment complaint.
The Democrat-controlled Assembly is expected to pass the legislation, which has the backing of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The measure is part of a $168 billion spending plan the Legislature is trying to approve by Sunday's deadline.
State budget talks have broken down over a dispute concerning oversight of private Jewish schools.
Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said lawmakers have reached agreement on "99.9 percent" of the $168 billion spending plan. He said the one remaining issue is Sen. Simcha (SIHM'-kuh) Felder's demand to exempt yeshivas from certain state curriculum standards.
Felder is a Brooklyn Democrat who votes with Republicans. His support is critical to Republican control of the Senate, giving him outsized influence.
Lawmakers wanted to complete their work in time to get home for the Jewish Passover, which begins Friday at sunset, and the Christian Easter on Sunday.
If they can't reach a deal before Sunday they'll either have to pass short-term budget extensions or state government will shut down.