ALBANY - State lawmakers today are trying to do something considered nearly impossible by many of their critics and pass a budget early, but not before protesters have their say.
If the voluminous bills are printed in time and voted on by midnight tonight, the state budget would be early for the first time since 1983.
The nearly $133 billion budget cuts spending more than 2 percent. It addresses a $10 billion deficit that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) blames in part on years of overspending.
"It does what needs to be done in terms of giving us a fiscally responsible budget with no gimmicks, no borrowing, no tax increases," says Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst).
The throngs of protesters, including teachers, students and public employees, who gathered at the Capitol today, urged lawmakers to restore spending cuts in areas such as education. Most were angry that the so-called "millionaire's tax" wasn't extended, a tax they say could have restored many of the cuts.
Long Island legislators say they were able to get more money for local schools and Stony Brook University Medical Center than the governor had proposed. They also add that the average taxpayer may not feel the cuts.
The budget is due by Friday.
Associated Press reports contributed to this article.