New York State budget deadline extended to April 10

UPDATE: New York State has passed a short-term extender so public employees will still get paid as lawmakers work to agree on a new state budget. On Monday, the state extended the deadline to approve the budget from April 1 to April 10.

ALBANY, N.Y. – The deadline for an on-time New York State budget passed on Saturday with no agreement. The budget is being held up over two key issues, primarily bail reform and housing.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal to strike the “least restrictive means” test would rid judges of the current requirements that require the use of the standard to ensure that bail-eligible defendants reappear in court on a scheduled date.

“I’m very clear on what I’m looking for. There is an inconsistency in our law right now. That’s what I’m striving to fix with ‘the least restrictive means in particular,” Hochul said.

Opponents, like Republican lawmaker Robert Ortt, oppose the change, arguing that removing the standard provides judges with even less bail setting guidelines.

“Senate and assembly democrats do not believe that any changes to cashless bail need to happen because the governor has proposed the most modest changes,” Hochul said. “I think everyone up here would have liked to see her go even further.”

The other issue holding up the budget was rezoning areas to allow housing construction around congested public transit systems.

Issues that are clogging up the budgeting process, but issues Governor Hochul says aren’t stopping lawmakers from reaching a compromise.

So, what happens next? According to Governor Hochul, as long as last year’s budget is extended while talks continue, the State can continue to function and state employees will continue to be paid.

That will be essential as the Passover holiday begins Wednesday, and with Easter just around the corner, holidays. That could lead to even more delays in getting a budget passed.