Assembly Democrats Propose $150.7 Billion State Budget

ALBANY (AP) -

Assembly Democrats on Tuesday proposed a $150.7 billion state budget they say will put families first, proposing larger increases in the minimum wage and public school aid than Gov. Andrew Cuomo did.

The plan also would increase support for child care, affordable housing and social services, they said.

“Families are the bedrock of our communities, and we will be fighting to ensure they have the resources and support they need,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, surrounded by colleagues.

The Democrats have a two-thirds Assembly majority, constituting one of three main forces in negotiations on spending for the fiscal year that starts April 1. The Senate’s Republican majority is expected to disclose positions on Thursday.

The Cuomo administration has proposed a spending plan that’s also loaded with possible new laws on topics ranging from government ethics to teacher evaluations. Heastie said the Democratic Conference has agreed on spending outlines but not reached detailed positions on many of those specific proposals, including ethics.

The minimum wage is $8.75 an hour and is rising next year to $9. Cuomo proposed raising it in 2017 to $11.50 in New York City and to $10.50 in the rest of the state.

Assembly Democrats would go higher — $10.50 upstate starting in 2017 and two years later $12.60. In New York City, Westchester and Long Island, it would rise to $12.50 in 2017 and to $15 two years later. Starting in 2019, the wage would be indexed to inflation.