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Libous: Budget Talks Continue on Specific Issues

Bob Joseph/WNBF News file photo

There’s a conceptual agreement on a New York state budget but plenty of details still have to be addressed before a final spending plan is adopted by lawmakers.

Senator Thomas Libous says among the issues to be determined is the size of funding cuts for programs that help New Yorkers with disabilities.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program Thursday morning, Libous said negotiations were continuing on the reductions that would affect the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.

The Binghamton Republican said seem to be making progress for “some sort of a restoration” but supporters of additional funding are having a “tough time getting that through.”

Libous said efforts continue to convince Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget director that the funding is “critically important.”

Although Libous had been opposed to plans to raise the state’s minimum wage, he said the compromise that’s been developed is “somewhat reasonable.” The plan would increase the minimum wage in phases and it would not rise automatically in future years.

Libous said discussions were continuing on the so-called “tip wage” which applies to restaurant workers. He said a proposal would raise the tip wage from five dollars to six dollars an hour.

Voting on budget bills in the Senate and Assembly is expected to get underway this weekend.

New York’s fiscal year starts April 1.

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