Ignoring Criticism, Cuomo to Issue Budget Message of Necessity
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced Saturday that they will not reach a budget agreement before midnight, which means a message of necessity must be issued by Cuomo in order for the budget bills to be passed ahead of the April 1st deadline, because there is not enough time for the bills to go through the 3-day mandated aging period.
While Cuomo has used the message of necessity power in the past, though far less often than previous governors, he has often tried to avoid the measure after facing public criticism for wielding the executive power in order to pass controversial legislation like the SAFE Act and the the Marriage Equality Act.
Last year, Cuomo used a message of necessity to facilitate an on-time budget and also traded disbanding the Moreland Commission to investigate corruption in the state Legislature if lawmakers approved the budget on time. They did and later that year, Cuomo during his gubernatorial re-election campaign often touted overseeing four on-time budgets after decades of dysfunction and late budgets in Albany.
Cuomo's executive budget calls for aggressive education and ethics reforms, which leaders say are holding up negotiations. The governor has previously said he would allow a late budget for the first time in order to get his ethics reforms. He announced a joint agreement with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on the ethics reforms earlier this month, but Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has been critical of the requirement of more disclosure on outside income.
After former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested in January, Cuomo has been under pressure from good government groups, and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s promise of more arrests, to enact real ethics changes in Albany.
On Saturday afternoon, Cuomo told reporters a budget deal could come the next day. Cuomo’s public schedule showed he will be leaving Albany to attend the Inner Circle show cocktail hour and Greek Independence Parade in New York City later that night.