Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos said this week that the GOP is aiming to pass the state budget before March 28, which would make it the earliest state budget adopted in three decades.
Skelos stated the goal Wednesday in his response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address.
"We are hoping for the earliest state budget passage in 30 years. In 1983, the budget passed on March 28 — three days before the April 1 deadline," he said. "I'm confident we can beat that by a week. We don't want any fiscal cliffs here in New York."
In an interview after the State of the State, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, told me that he is hoping this year can "begin the era of early budgets."
Another reason legislators are pushing for an early budget is the legislative calendar. This year, Easter falls on Sunday, March 31 and Passover runs from March 25 to April 2. The final day the Assembly and Senate are scheduled to be in session before the April 1 deadline is Thursday, March 21.
State Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, said because of Easter and Passover, "it's going to be more important than ever to get this budget passed sooner rather than later."
Since 1975, 30 budgets have been adopted after the April 1 deadline. Three budgets, including last year's, were enacted early. Five budgets have been passed on time (on March 31 before the midnight April 1 deadline).
Here's a trivia question for you: Who was New York's governor when the state budget was passed on March 28, 1983? (Answer at the end of the column.)
DeFrancisco reappointed chair of Finance Committee
State Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, will continue serving as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
DeFrancisco has served as chairman of the committee since Jan. 2011.
"I am honored that I have been reappointed chairman of the Senate Finance Committee," DeFrancisco said in a statement. "Through bipartisan cooperation, we have made great strides in our state, although there is still much more work to be done. I am excited to continue working hard with (Governor Andrew Cuomo), Senator Skelos and Senator Klein toward the passage of another on time budget that serves the interests of all New Yorkers."
DeFrancisco represents the 50th Senate District, which includes part of Auburn and the towns of Brutus, Cato, Ira and Sennett.
Review Cuomo's State of the State online
I have posted Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address online. The entire 312-page book and his PowerPoint presentation are available on my blog at auburnpub.com/eyeonny.
Trivia question answer
The answer to the trivia question I asked earlier in my column: Mario Cuomo. The elder Cuomo was governor of New York from 1983 to 1995. In his first year in office, the state budget was passed on March 28.