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State Fails to Meet Budget Deadline for 20th Year

By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – New York begins its fiscal year Thursday without a state budget. But lawmakers did take action to keep state government running.

The state Legislature passed emergency spending bills totaling nearly $10 billion to fund state operations through April 18th. But missing from those bills was money the Niagara Falls area is due from the Seneca Niagara Casino.

Assemblywoman Francine Delmonte says the Senecas have turned that money over to the state. And a special commission created by the governor has decided how to spend it. But Delmonte says Niagara Falls is still waiting for its more than $9 million share of casino profits.

"There's no guarantee to any of us who worked on the commission and those who are reliant on the funding are actually going to receive the money," Delmonte said. "I'm hopeful that the governor's budget division will accede to the direction that was given by the commission as far as that funding is concerned."

It's the 20th consecutive year that the state is beginning its new fiscal year without a spending plan in place. And there's not likely to be one anytime soon. Legislators are leaving Albany for a 12 day spring break.

A joint legislative conference committee did agree Wednesday on a plan to move the start of the state fiscal year to May 1st. It also agreed to have a contingency budget take effect if that deadline isn't met.