New York’s state budget is now three weeks behind schedule -- a stalemate that has produced the latest budget in more than a decade.
Disagreements over criminal justice and housing policy have led to criticism from Republicans like Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, accusing Democrats of dysfunction.
"If we’re not getting a budget done on time, what else are we not getting done that ought to be done?" he said.
Still, some Democrats, including state Senator Tim Kennedy, have a more optimistic outlook given the weight of the issues Governor Hochul and top lawmakers are negotiating.
"We’re putting the budget together. We’re negotiating," Kennedy said. "There’s a lot to it. It’s hundreds of billions of dollars and we’re making sure that at the end of the day, it’s the right budget for the people of New York."
For now, the actual effect the late budget will have on New York’s 19 million residents is minimal. School districts must soon set their own budgets and put them before voters, providing a dose of uncertainty for them over how much money they expect to receive.
While the budget is late, lawmakers will be missing their paychecks until a deal is reached, and some legislators have floated the idea of also docking the governor's pay as well.
Tim Dunn of the non-partisan Unite New York organization points to a poll the group conducted showing voters restive about the direction of the state.
"About half of New Yorkers are saying right now the state is on the wrong track," Dunn said. "But that said, many of those same voters are willing to give the governor and the Legislature the benefit of the doubt where they’re right around that midpoint of approval-disapproval."
But Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group says the delay this month for lawmakers and Hochul is embarrassing – and doesn’t help their standing in the eyes of the public.
"It’s just another body blow for how people view state government and at a certain level it increases their cynicism," Horner said.
Lawmakers and Hochul have insisted they want to get the policy – from amending the bail law to encouraging housing – to be a good one for the state even if it’s late.
"There’s no choice – an on-time budget versus a good budget. That’s not the choice," he said. "The choice is an on-time budget that’s a good budget."