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Race To Finish NY State Budget Before Deadline

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Albany lawmakers face a budget deadline of midnight Wednesday with lots of unresolved issues, like how much to raise taxes, and two areas of agreement: More money for schools and legalizing marijuana. CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports.

Video Transcript

- Well, with the midnight tomorrow deadline fast approaching for a budget deal in New York, Governor Cuomo and lawmakers are wrestling over issues like tax increases, money for schools, and legalizing marijuana. CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story.

MARCIA KRAMER: They still may be far apart on how much green New York taxpayers will have to fork over to fund state programs, but Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers came together on another green initiative, as both houses began passing legislation to legalize marijuana for those over 21.

CRYSTAL PEOPLES-STOKES: Instead of New Yorkers traveling to our neighboring states of New Jersey and/or Massachusetts, they will spend their money here.

MARCIA KRAMER: The marijuana bill did have a green component. The potential $4.2 billion industry will mean $350 million in tax revenue for the state, though it's a drop in the bucket compared to proposals from the Assembly and Senate for a $7 billion tax hike on millionaires, corporations, capital gains, estates, and the owners of high-value second homes in New York City.

There was intense lobbying on both sides of the issue, and no agreement yet, ahead of the April 1 budget deadline.

JOHN LIU: This is a long time coming.

MARCIA KRAMER: Queens Senator John Liu, Chairman of the New York City Education Committee, telling me about an agreement to give poor school districts, like New York City, Hempstead, Mount Vernon, and Yonkers, more money-- $4.2 billion over three years, $1.4 billion a year. The city's share is $560 million annually.

JOHN LIU: It will be a really great beginning for all of New York City school kids, especially as we go back to in-person learning, schools get back on track, and the students do much, much better. That's what we all want.

MARCIA KRAMER: Mayor de Blasio called it a game changer.

BILL DE BLASIO: That's going to allow us to do so many of the things that we need to do long-term-- go to full universal 3-K in the coming years. It's going to ensure we're going to have a lot more support for kids in terms of mental health, social workers, and trained adults to help address the really profound mental health needs of our kids.

MARCIA KRAMER: And there were some pessimism about the ability of the embattled governor and the legislature to meet the budget deadline. Members of the Assembly were told to be prepared to work all week. I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS2 News.