Lawmakers pass state budget
State lawmakers will make it home for Easter as a new budget was passed late last night. The $168 billion spending plan contains new sexual harassment measures, including ones that must be met by companies bidding on state contracts. Schools will see a $1 billion increase, and opioid manufacturers will be forced to contribute financially to drug abuse treatment programs. A state-funded bailout for two private casinos was not included, and ethics reforms also escaped inclusion once again.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was pleased with the measures that address sexual harassment. He offered a view as to how widespread the problem has become, saying "We have a national scandal that has been revealed over weeks. We have revelations of deep-seated sexual harassment against women."
The passage ensures that the budget will be on time this year.