ALBANY - Legislative leaders say that a state budget deal is very close with Friday's deadline looming.
After a 90-minute closed-door meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, of East Northport, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters they were close to agreeing on a new state budget.
They also said they had not yet struck a deal on the thorniest issue in budget talks: raising the state's minimum wage.
Senate Republicans have been balking at Cuomo's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years.
State Sen. Phil Boyle, of Bay Shore, who heads the Committee on Small Business, says employers across Long Island may not to be able to absorb higher payroll costs.
Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, of Glen Cove, says while a budget deal may be close, nailing down the final details isn't easy.
There does seem to be some good news in the budget for Long Island. State Sen. Carl Marcellino, of Oyster Bay, who chairs the Senate Committee on Education, tells News 12 that he's hopeful there will be a nearly 7 percent increase in school aid. Also, there appears to be agreement on full restoration of what's called the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which is essentially money the state withheld from school districts during the state's budget crunch.