Lawmakers, Governor Reach Budget Deal

Albany, N.Y. - State lawmakers and Governor Cuomo have hammered out a final state budget.

The plan includes a permanent property tax cap, increased school funding, and a ban on single-use plastic bags.

The $175 billion plan does not legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults. Governor Cuomo pitched the idea earlier this year in hopes of using the tax revenue to close a large budget gap. But, opponents said they had questions about the impact legalizing the drug would have on health and safety. Lawmakers may still pass legislation on the issue before their session ends in June.

The budget delivers on many of the progressive policies promised during the campaign. Democrats largely lived up to pledges to address big money in politics and raise taxes on the wealthy.

The budget will establish a commission to develop a plan to provide up to $100 million annually in public financing for campaigns for legislative and statewide offices.

New taxes include a tax during peak travel times in Manhattan, a tax on the sale and transfer of luxury homes, and an internet sales tax.

The budget serves as a criminal justice reform road-map for progressive Democrats. The budget bill will ban the release of mugshots, remove cash-bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent crimes, and allow defendants to know more about the evidence that will be used against them by prosecutors.

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