New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders continued to meet behind closed doors to hash out a budget deal on Thursday, while outside the governor’s offices about 25 angry protesters were arrested.
Demonstrators are demanding inclusion of the Dream Act in the budget. The measure would give college aid to immigrants in the country illegally. About 70 people staged a sit in and blockaded the door to the governor’s offices. Another 300 supporters chanted “Hey governor one percent, who do you represent?”
Demonstrators also protested what they say is lack of adequate funding for schools and the homeless.
Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, said the groups believe that the state spending plan is unfair, and that Governor Cuomo's plan to cut taxes, including business taxes, favors the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
"Half the kids in many of our cities are living in poverty," he said. "We have record hunger. We have record homelessness."
The office where the governor and lawmakers were meeting was locked to keep out the demonstrators. Officials offered no details about any progress on budget negotiations, but legislative leaders said a deal could be close.