2007_04_albany.jpgState lawmakers passed a $121 billion budget yesterday morning. The budget deadline was midnight, so despite Governor Spitzer's hopes that his first budget would be on time, this is the 21st time in 23 years the NY State Budget has been late. But maybe it should be asterisked - lawmakers agreed on everything prior to the midnight deadline, but decided that it wouldn't be printed on time.

Assemblyman Mark Weprin of Queens said, "Ideally, the bills would have been on our desks for three days, because that would have allowed scrutiny by the public, the press and the members. Unfortunately, we didn't have a lot of time, and it needed to get done." Still, critics are unhappy with the secrecy, especially in the era of Spitzer, who claimed, "Everything changes day one." Maybe they change on Day 101?

New York City will lose $308 million in state aid this year, but the NY Times reports there is a "negotiated deal that will restore it to full levels next year." The city will get over $3 billion in school aid from Albany over the next four years. And learn more about the budget here.

And while Spitzer said, "This budget is very good for the state of New York," the Post's Fred Dicker disagrees and grades Spitzer. Here's his report card.

2007_03_poststpizer.jpg