The negotiating style of linkage is certainly not new to Albany. But DeFrancisco, a lawmaker first elected in 1992, said what’s different this year is Cuomo has set his ultimatums in an up-front, visible way and sprinkled throughout the thousands of pages of budget documents. That could make it trickier for the governor to budge when lawmakers try to offer their own trade-offs behind closed doors in negotiating sessions.
“I just think it sets an adversarial atmosphere,” DeFrancisco said. “And for a person giving speeches for four years about how wonderful it is to work together and have a functional government, now to be setting conditions to everything … is just a total reversal.”
Some lawmakers say Cuomo’s late budget threat might not be a persuasive hammer to hold over the Legislature, which for a couple of decades became accustomed to tardy budgets.
One lawmaker said Cuomo’s plans for the state’s school system and his threat to link education aid funding to them are so bad that a late budget might be how legislators get him to amend the ideas.
“I’m much more interested that we hold our breath until we turn blue so we can make sure those things don’t happen,” Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, said of the Cuomo education proposals.
After four years, Cuomo's made lots of enemies in Albany and his "My Way Or The Highway" strategy this year isn't undoing any of that.
We'll see if this continues as the budget deadline approaches, but as things stand now, Cuomo's tying everything to everything else is just pissing a lot of people off.