Ahead of Cuomo's budget rollout, lawmakers debate costs and cuts

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out his agenda in his State of the State address this month, he suggested that state lawmakers were facing a legislative task tougher than any that had been faced before.

“The job you’re going to have to do may be the job the hardest job done by any legislative body to sit in modern political history,” the governor asserted. “We have unprecedented challenges ahead on every level. And with these challenges at this moment, requires stark candor and bold action.”

On Tuesday, Cuomo will provide further details on how he intends to meet these challenges with the unveiling of his executive budget proposal.

But before the release of his spending plan, Democrats and Republicans in Albany – as well as key interest groups – have already been staking out their positions, especially with a budget deficit that could total $4 billion or more and fears of a devastating impact from the Republican tax law and other federal policy changes.

At City & State’s annual State of Our State event last week, a bipartisan panel weighed in on the key issues, from health care spending and school aid to the Dream Act and bail reform. The panelists were John Maggiore, the governor’s policy adviser; state Sen. Phil Boyle, who chairs the Senate Commerce, Economic Development And Small Business Committee; Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried; Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, who chairs the Task Force on New Americans; Assemblyman David Weprin, who chairs the Assembly Correction Committee.

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