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Marathon Assembly session targets budget

ALBANY -- The Assembly is planning a marathon session Thursday at the State Capitol to put the finishing touches on New York's 2013-14 budget.

House leaders expect to easily beat the April 1 budget deadline for the third straight year, something New York lawmakers haven't accomplished in three decades. The Democrat-dominated chamber expects to pass the 10 bills that comprise the budget to allow lawmakers to adjourn for Easter weekend.

The politically split State Senate approved the budget in a nearly 12-hour session ending just before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Overall, the 2013-14 plan would increase spending by less than 2 percent, to about $136 billion. The total increases to $142.6 billion when federal aid for superstorm Sandy is included. Highlights include increasing education aid by about 5 percent, mandating a minimum-wage hike to $9 per hour by the end of 2015, bankrolling a $350 "family tax relief" check households will receive during the 2014 election year and renewing the so-called "millionaires' tax" on those earning more than $1 million annually.

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