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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Calendar quirk has NY pols eyeing earliest budget in decades

As hearings commenced Monday, New York lawmakers are aiming to complete one of the earliest state budgets in recent memory, thanks to a quirk in the calendar.

The state’s 2013-14 fiscal year begins April 1, the deadline for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state legislators to get a spending plan in place. Budget hearings began Monday with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other municipal officials testifying about aid to localities.

This year, state lawmakers hope to finish by March 21, Senate and Assembly officials say – the last day before a two-week break for the Passover-Easter holidays.

In most years, the holiday break doesn’t occur until after April 1, allowing lawmakers to negotiate right up to the deadline and not encroach on vacation time. This time, they intend to finish early – although, if they don’t have a deal by March 21, leaders could have the rank-and-file stay in Albany the following week to sew things up.

Over the last three decades, the record for an early New York State budget is March 28, 1983.

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