The budget deal between Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D- New York, and legislative leaders was announced Wednesday night. The Legislature is expected to approve the $135 billion spending plan over the weekend. It will be the earliest a state budget has been approved in 30 years.
Among the highlights of the bill-- expansion of pre-K education for low-income schools, funding to extend the school day and year, and merit pay for top teachers.
Other provisions include a new marketing program to promote tourism and other New York-made foods, raising the minimum wage to $9, and a $350 tax rebate for middle class families with children.
The budget deal also preserves funding to keep operating the state prison in Chateaugay. Democrats had been targeting the medium security prison for closure as the state's inmate population continues to shrink.
But North Country Senator Betty Little, R-Queensbury, says that proposal is now "off the table." The prison has 114 employees.