Although New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators have come to an agreement regarding the final state budget, the spending plan lacks many of the policy plans Cuomo initially included in his budget proposal, according to reports.
Following an attempt to use the budget as a way to gain leverage against unwilling lawmakers, Cuomo ultimately abandoned his initial proposal, in order to meet the state’s April 1 deadline for an on-time budget.
And, as a result, the governor’s plans to raise the state’s minimum wage, as well as the Dream Act have both been dropped from the current budget agreement.
In addition, several of the governor’s criminal justice reforms, as well as plans to raise the age of criminal responsibility from age 16 to 18, and to impose new sexual assault policies at colleges across the state have also been dropped from the plan.
Yet, two items from his previous proposal, which the governor was able to hold onto, education and ethics reform, are issues over which Cuomo and lawmakers reportedly have been able to reach an agreement.
Initially, Cuomo had proposed making 50 percent of a teacher’s annual performance review based on student test scores, as well as requiring disclosure from lawmakers regarding outside clients, following the arrest of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in January.
Under the new budget agreement, relative to education, the state education department will come up with a new formula to evaluate teachers, and teachers will now need at least four years in the classroom, one more year than they currently need, in order to receive tenure in their positions. In addition, lawmakers have decided they must be rated at least “effective,” or higher, on evaluations in at least three of those years.
The budget will also include an even larger increase in education aid than Cuomo initially offered to lawmakers, had they approved his education plan, moving to about $1.6 billion from the original $1.1 billion.
Additionally, relative to ethics reform, Cuomo and both houses have agreed legislators will disclose more about the income they earn from other jobs.
In the last few days of budget talks, Cuomo reportedly said many of the issues could be passed later in the legislative session.
“There’s a certain amount that the system can handle,” he stated, regarding several of his initial proposals. “That’s a lot of discussion, a lot of meetings; a lot of paper going back and forth. At one point you’re just maxing out the limit of the system.”
Legislators are scheduled to formally vote on the plan Tuesday.