For all the lofty rhetoric around budgets being moral documents, while they’re being created, the sausage-making is done by people like you and me. People who get cranky after working weeks of late nights; who have stale pizza and Pepto-breath; who feel frustrated by political intransigence. 

Here lies the danger of the late budget: That the very people responsible for the heavy lifting of creating it may get to a point where the major issues are such an ordeal that there’s no gas left in the tank for smaller issues that could be done post-budget.

It’s something Charles Khan, the organizing director at the Strong Economy for All Coalition, says concerns him.

“I think it’s a little bit odd and a little bit scary because the governor has some slam dunks in front of her,” Khan told Capital Tonight.

Khan is referring to proposals to raise taxes on the very wealthy and hike, and then index, the minimum wage — issues that the latest Siena College poll indicate most New York state voters support.

“But the governor, backed by the former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has sort of dug her feet into these positions that short change a lot of New Yorkers,” Khan said.

While Gov. Hochul supports hiking the minimum wage, her proposal is not as generous as one introduced by lawmakers. Even more troublesome for progressives is that she has stated publicly that she’s against raising taxes, but at the same time, has proposed increasing tuition at SUNY and CUNY, and hiking taxes on cigarettes and snowmobile licenses.

The chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Aging, Ron Kim, has called her tax hikes “regressive." He is also disappointed in how budget negotiations are unfolding.

Kim is urging the governor to reject what he views as taxes on middle class New Yorkers, and instead embrace tax hikes on the state’s wealthiest residents. 

“We need the make sure the top 1% who have made billions of dollars on COVID pay their fair share to reinvest back into New York state, especially at a time when we are facing an inevitable recession,” Kim said.

Because of her budget priorities, Kim compared Hochul to her predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with whom he had a famously rocky relationship.

“But I’m always looking to go back to what she did when she took office, which is to build a partnership and collaborate with the Legislature to work for the people of New York,” he said. 

Khan is less optimistic.

“It’s sort of alarming that the governor would go against so many people, Republican, Democrats, voter-wise, to… take these stances,” he said.