$168 Billion Dollar State Budget Passed

Lawmakers worked through the night to pass the $168 billion state budget, ahead of the April 1st deadline.

Governor Cuomo addressed items passed in the State Budget Late Friday night, including a new Sexual Harassment Policy, in a Capital Red Room Press Briefing.

"It requires all state contractors to have a sexual harassment policy, train all of their employees, it prohibits employers from using mandatory arbitration, mandates offenders to reimburse the state for any judgement of intentional wrongdoing related to sexual harassment..."

Cuomo says New York is the first state to pass such an aggressive sexual harassment agenda.

Some survivors of harassment in the Legislature disagree, saying it should have been handled outside the budget.

Cuomo adds it was one of the most difficult budgets they have ever worked on.

"Over $1 billion more for education, that's a $26.7 billion total, $50 million more for community schools, that's a total now of $200 million for community schools, I'm very proud of that, that says focus, resources on the schools that need it most."

Cuomo claims this budget is the right way forward for New York State.

"The budget hit the priorities that we had set out, when we started, we said, 'Number one, we have to defend against that federal tax increase, number two, invest in education, three, fight sexual harassment, four, protect our democratic process, safeguard the environment, and grow the economy.'"

Lawmakers removed some policy items from the package, including the Child Victims Act, which would raise the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Photo: Getty Images

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