State budget talks stall again as second extender granted


New York legislators will not pass a state budget for at least another week after legislative leaders agreed to a second deadline extension to April 17.

The holdup continues to be agreement on new bail reform legislation and affordable housing, according to news reports.  The original deadline was April 1.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who represents greater Riverdale, stated in his weekly newsletter before the second extension was passed that “it appears that there are some major sticking points on issues such as bail policy, climate standards and other important issues.”

“I want to take a moment to remind people that budgets are compromises,” he wrote. “They reflect a consensus of 213 legislators and a governor, and there will almost certainly be things that I don’t personally like included in the budget (and there will also be things I do like.)”

He made it a point to say he does not like to include policy elements in the budget. “That way, each legislator has adequate time to consider the policy being discussed.”

The New York Conservative Party was not so conciliatory when it comes to a stalled budget.

“As New York State under one-party Democratic rule continues to flounder, New Yorkers are increasingly losing any faith they may once have had in state government,” they said in a statement. “Crime remains rampant, the budget process has stalled out in the form of another extender, and, just this past weekend, Troy City Hall, a local symbol of government, was ransacked. This is what happens when ideology prevails over common sense.

“Whatever Governor Kathy Hochul is doing in Albany isn’t working.  It’s time to raise a warning flag.”


Hochul nominates
Wilson for chief judge

Gov. Kathy Hochul Monday nominated Judge Rowan D. Wilson, who has served as associate judge of the Court of Appeals for the past six years, to serve as chief judge and fill the vacancy created last summer. If confirmed, he would be the first Black chief judge in New York state history.

His nomination comes about two months after Hochul’s first choice Hector LaSalle was rejected by the state Senate. That vote was based on the justice being too moderate and making several decisions that were anti-abortion or anti-labor. Local state Sen. Gustavo Rivera was among the vocal opponents at the time.

“Serving as chief judge of the Court of Appeals would be the honor of my career, and I am humbled by this nomination from Governor Hochul,” Wilson said.  “Protecting the rights of New Yorkers is my top priority, and I look forward to working with Governor Hochul and our partners throughout the judiciary system to manage our courts and deliver justice.”

The governor said she also intends to nominate Caitlin J. Halligan, who has served as New York state solicitor general and general counsel to the New York County district attorney. She is a partner of Selendy Gay Elsberg PLLC. She would fill Wilson’s vacancy as associate judge of the Court of Appeals. In addition, Hochul announced her strong support for Judge Wilson’s intention to recommend the Justice Joseph Zayas for appointment as chief administrative Judge, charged with oversight over court operations, including a budget of more than $3 billion.

“The chief judge of the Court of Appeals not only leads the state’s highest court, but is also responsible for managing the diverse and complex courts across the state,” Hochul said in a prepared statement.

Wilson has served as an associate judge of the Court of Appeals since 2017.  He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and graduated from Harvard Law School.

New York state, budget, Rowan Wilson, Gov. Kathy Hochul, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Gustavo Rivera,