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March 31, 1999 

Lawmakers adjourn with no budget deal

The Legislature has adjourned for two weeks without agreement with Governor Pataki on a budget for the 1999-2000 fiscal year.

This is the 15th year in a row in which lawmakers have failed to agree on a budget by April 1, the beginning of the fiscal year. Lawmakers are not expected back in session until April 12.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has said the Senate and Assembly should convene conference committees to begin hashing out a spending deal.

Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno has indicated that he will not do so until the two houses agree on how much is available to spend.

Governor Pataki's proposed budget of $74.7 billion would increase spending by about the rate of inflation. It calls for reductions in the state's spending on Medicaid, which is by far the nation's highest.

The Assembly has passed a budget resolution that restores all of Governor Pataki's proposed cuts and adds $1.5 billion in spending to the Governor's proposed budget.

The Senate budget plan includes $1.1 billion in tax cuts but also calls for $1.2 billion more in general-fund and capital spending than Governor Pataki has proposed.