New York State budget: Assembly to begin voting on bill with $350 tax rebate, minimum wage hike

Members of the New York State Senate meet

Members of the New York State Senate meet at the Capitol in Albany. (June 23, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

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New York's Assembly is set to begin final legislative approval of the $135 billion state budget that raises the minimum wage to $9 per hour over three years and offers a $350 rebate to families with children.

The Assembly plans an early start Thursday and could finish voting by evening, although a late session and Friday session are still possible.

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The Senate gave its approval to budget bills in an overnight session that ended at 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The budget includes extending an income tax on millionaires that was to expire next year, an election year. It also continues for three years a big business tax on energy costs that had been set to expire this year.

New Yorkers with incomes between $40,000 and $300,000 who have at least one child would get a $350 check per family just before the 2014 elections.

The Senate approved increasing school aid by about $1 billion, cracking down on abuse of a property tax program, and ensure that downstate gas stations have backup generators if there are power outages.

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The budget is due by midnight Sunday.

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