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Assembly GOP says it declined Cuomo briefing

ALBANY -   With budget votes pending and a deadline looming, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo offered to give a personal briefing to Assembly Republicans, who rarely see eye-to-eye with the Democrat, several legislators said Tuesday. It was turned down.

  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) told rank-and-file Republicans about the offer in a meeting to review bills on education, ethics and other items, lawmakers said.

  aHe (Kolb) told us about the offer, but it was declined,a said Assemb. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-St. James). aI would’ve liked to hear from him. It’s always a great opportunity when you can get the governor to address the conference. It would've been great.a

  Several other Republicans confirmed that Kolb said he spoke with Cuomo but declined to comment because, in part, they were opposed.

  A Kolb spokesman said he couldnat confirm or deny the exchange. Cuomo’s office didn't immediately return a call to comment.

  Lawmakers are expected to finalize the budget late Tuesday. They aim to beat a midnight deadline for approving the spending plan before the start of New Yorkas fiscal year. Education and ethics have been two of the hot-button issues of this yearas budget fight.

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