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Cuomo, Lawmakers Reach Deal on NY Budget

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced Tuesday they had reached a deal on the New York state budget.

"For the second straight year, New York state has worked and created a balanced budget based on fiscal responsibility, job creation, government efficiency, and the premise that we must invest in our communities," Cuomo said in a statement.

The $132.5 billion budget increases spending just 1.9 percent while expanding economic development and jobs programs and providing some protections for the poorest New Yorkers and immigrants.

The agreements with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Leader Dean Skelos include a total 10 percent increase in the welfare grant in June. Cuomo wanted to delay half of that because of the state's slow economic recovery.

The basic welfare grant is about $350 a month for a family of three.

Cuomo says the cornerstone of the deal is his "New York Works" program, which is aimed at creating jobs statewide through public-private partnerships.

Lawmakers were optimistic Monday that a deal would be struck on time again this year. But the one outstanding issue was health exchanges that the state must set up under the federal healthcare reform act.

Last year, a tentative deal was struck five days before the plan was due.

With reporting by Karen Dewitt

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