Raise The Age Blow Up?
“The contentious debate over raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York is threatening to blow up a broader deal over the state budget on Friday, the final day of the state’s fiscal year.
A Republican source Friday afternoon told NY1’s Zack Fink the measure was out of the budget talks as lawmakers remain divided over the issue.
And while not confirming that, Sen. Pat Gallivan, a key Republican lawmaker who has negotiated raise the age, told reporters he viewed the issue as a non-budgetary policy concern.
“The governor’s budget proposal, the raise the age is a policy matter,” he said. “He has not proposed one single dollar for fiscal year 2018. I talked about this when the governor first proposed it three or four years ago, policy issues should be out of the budget.”
Gallivan added: “Whether it becomes part of the budget, I just don’t know. Some of those discussions are at the leader level with the governor and I don’t know what might be or what might be out.”
It’s not wholly surprising that lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo had expressed optimism a deal was close to being reached on raise the age, considering how agreements have a tendency of coming together and soon falling apart in Albany.
This isn’t necessarily sitting well with Democratic lawmakers who wanted the measure included in the spending plan. And, as far as Assembly Democrats are concerned, they’re still negotiating a final deal that could still include the provision.
But not including the measure matters at least in terms of counting votes.
The Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate, an eight-member bloc, has previously pledged to not support a budget that does not include the policy, a stance reiterated by IDC spokeswoman Candice Giove.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Senate Democrats mainline conference confirmed their lawmakers, too, won’t back a budget without the measure.
Now, with Sen. Simcha Felder gone from the mix to observe the Sabbath this weekend, the Senate would only have 31 lawmakers in favor of a budget that doesn’t include raise the age — not enough votes to pass the measure.
At issue for Senate Republicans is including a series of felony charges that would still send defendants under age to criminal court, including crimes considered to be non-violent. Democrats in the assembly have raised concerns with this, pushing for a wider array of charges to be tried in Family Court.”