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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Ethics bill could be down to 'crossing t's and dotting i's'

ALBANY - The Legislature’s top Republican said Thursday lawmakers are close to a deal on ethics, though it’s not settled yet.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said there’s been “tremendous progress” on reaching an agreement with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on ethics legislation – one of the final sticking points for the 2015-16 state budget.

“I think we’re going to get there,” Skelos added. A rank-and-file lawmaker said “it’s down to crossing t's and dotting i's.”

Allocations for education and a $5 billion banking windfall also are major outstanding issues. They are trying to approve a spending plan before Wednesday, the start of New York’s fiscal year.

But with each passing day this week, lawmakers are sounding like they are moving toward a finish.

For instance, earlier this week, Skelos said divvying up the banking windfall might have to wait post budget. Thursday, he indicated leaders are trying to come up with criteria for allocations.

Earlier Thursday, state Assembly members said they expect to reach a deal with the governor and Senate today, with a likely scenario of voting on the budget Monday and Tuesday.                                                 

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