To adopt state budget on time, emergency order will have to be issued

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ALBANY _ For New York’s legislature to pass a $137.9-billion budget as promised by Monday night’s midnight deadline, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will have to issue a “message of necessity.”

That’s because Cuomo and legislative leaders failed to agree on and start printing some of the lengthy budget bills until early Saturday. They missed the Friday midnight deadline to provide three days public review of bills required by the state constitution. The governor’s order, reserved for emergencies, suspends that provision.

On Saturday, Cuomo told reporters that two of the major bills that are part of the budget weren’t being printed until after Friday night’s midnight deadline.

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Cuomo and good-government groups have long criticized the use of the emergency orders to meet a budget deadline, but passing on-time budgets has become a major bragging point in campaigning for Cuomo and lawmakers over four years.

“A three-day period is to ensure that lawmakers -- and the public -- have an opportunity to review complex legislative decisions,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “Unless there is a real emergency, the governor should ensure that three-day review. In Albany, speed can lead to big mistakes.”

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