State budget deadline looms

March 20, 2017 07:23 AM

We're just two weeks away from the state's budget deadline. We're taking a look at how this budget could impact you. 

Hot topics this year include ridesharing expanding upstate and college tuition assistance. 

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Governor Cuomo has been pushing for this for free college tuition. His plan would make public state colleges and universities free for in-state students whose families make up to $125,000 a year.

The Assembly and Senate have endorsed other plans that are not as generous, but would give some tuition breaks.

One thing we know all three branches have included a plan for college tuition assistance. The question now is if they can agree on one or meet in the middle.

Another big issue, should New York charge 16 and 17-year-olds as adults, no matter the offense. Currently New York and North Carolina are the only states that punish teens under 18 as adults for minor crimes.

The Assembly and the Governor have both supported the change in the past, but plans to Raise the Age of criminal responsibly have fallen flat in the senate. Advocates are optimistic this year since the senate chamber's budget includes a plan to raise the age.

Soon, you might be able to catch an Uber or Lyft. Right now, ridesharing apps can only operate in New York City.

The governor included ridesharing in his budget with plans for a worker's compensation fund and background checks.

The Senate and the Assembly also included plans for Uber and Lyft in their budgets.

Taxi unions are still fighting against expansion because they say it's unfair and unsafe Uber and Lyft drivers aren't required to be fingerprinted like taxi drivers are.

More than likely, the budget will come down to three men in a room: The Governor, The Senate Leader and the Assembly Speaker left to hash it all out.

A final budget is due by April 1st. 


Kaci Jones

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