Albany, NY, Mar 29, 2012 — New York State lawmakers began passing the first of a series of budget bills Wednesday, in the hope of finishing the spending plan before Saturday's deadline.
Senate Leader Dean Skelos says lawmakers should be “proud” of the budget. Senate Finance Chair John DeFrancisco praised the “refreshing” lack of rancor during budget negotiations and says the spending plan, at just over $132 billion dollars, “incredibly”, spends less in some categories than last year.
Not all Senators were pleased. Senator Ruben Diaz, a Bronx Democrat, says the spending plan cuts billions of dollars without raising any taxes- and he says as a result, the budget is “balanced on the backs of the poor”. He says that’s nothing to “brag” about.