New York State lawmakers have agreed upon a new $153 billion budget that is expected to be approved next week.
The budget is a week overdue, the first time in Governor Cuomo's seven years in office that a budget has been late. The delay was caused by lengthy negotiations over a number of sticky topics, most particularly, according to Cuomo, the issue of raising the age of criminal responsibility in the state.
"It was probably the single most difficult piece in the budget. Teddy Roosevelt used to say, during his time as governor, he like to take on the tough problems, let someone else handle the easy ones. I try to follow that. This was a tough one."
The age will rise from 16 to 17 years of age in 2018 and then to 18 years of age in 2019. The budget also provides for the expansion of ride hailing services into upstate regions and free SUNY college tuition for many middle class families.
Ten million dollars will be used to establish the Liberty Defense Project to protect the rights of immigrants.