State Lawmakers in Albany Have Deal on New State Budget

State lawmakers in Albany have a deal on a new state budget that includes a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Governor Cuomo says he's pleased lawmakers hammered out a spending plan with a number of key initiatives.

The 175-billion-dollar budget also includes an extra $1 billion for schools. It also includes new tolls to drive into midtown Manhattan and a tax on the sale of luxury second homes in Manhattan.

It also makes permanent the state's cap on property tax increases.

There are other highlights in the new state budget:

It eliminates cash bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses

It pays for college tuition help for illegal immigrants

It creates a commission to design a taxpayer-funded campaign system for state elections

It raises the governor's salary in two steps over two years to $250,000

It requires coverage for in-vitro fertilization and makes major provisions of the federal Obamacare law a permanent part of New York law

It creates new tax on rental cars to pay for transit services

The new state budget deal also includes a provision prohibiting police from publicly releasing mugshots after arrests. The intent is to protect people from websites that post the photos and demand money to remove them.The provision changes the state's Freedom of Information Law. It initially included language blocking the release by police of arrest booking information, but that language was stricken. Police will still be allowed to release mugshots if the intent is to warn the public about someone who is at-large.


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