Both the state Senate and Assembly have approved their own fiscal plans, each proposing to raise billions of dollars in revenue through new tax increases on the wealthy, including hikes on the personal income tax for high-income earners, a surcharge on capital gains, and an increase in the estate tax.
The budget is due at the end of the month and negotiations kicked off in earnest on Tuesday.
But those negotiations come as the governor is in crisis, and some are questioning how involved he will be in the process.
“I’ve made my opinions clear: I think the governor should resign,” State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said on Tuesday. “But I also understand that it's important we do our job and that will always be my focus.”
“So as far as I can see, we are trying to make sure the state is not harmed while the conversation is happening around the governor and his future,” said State Sen. Brian Benjamin, who is also running for city comptroller. “We want to make sure the state is protected in that important issues related to hard-working New Yorkers gets resolved."
At least 59 Democratic state lawmakers, including the leader of the state Senate, have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign. Perhaps that gives the legislature some leverage during the talks as Cuomo loses political capital.
The governor has proposed his own surcharge on the state’s top earners, but he is targeting those who make above $5 million. The legislature is looking at taxing those that make $1 million or more.
This week, even amid scandal, Cuomo raised a red flag on the legislature’s tax proposals, which are much broader than his own.
“How you raise revenue can actually raise revenue or it can cost you revenue,” Cuomo said while he toured a vaccine site on Monday. "If you aren't careful with how you do it, you may actually lose revenue for the state because businesses and residents will make changes."
Of course, given the multiple investigations into the governor, it’s unclear if the legislature, as of this point, is interested in his opinion.