The eight-member Independent Democratic Conference in the state Senate on Wednesday is unveiling its own budget resolution separate from the Republican conference.
The measure includes language in support of raising the age of criminal responsibility, support for the extension of tax rates on millionaires that expire at the end of the year and the backing of the DREAM Act, a measure that provides tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants.
The resolution includes issues Senate Republicans are either broadly opposed to — such as the DREAM Act — or have had concerns about, including juvenile justice reform for 16 and 17-year-old defendants.
The move marks the first time the IDC has backed a separate budget resolution, a non-binding aspirational document that lays out goals for the budget negotiations, since its formation in 2011.
The IDC, however, insisted the one-house budget resolution of its own should not be read as a break with the Senate GOP as liberal advocacy groups press for juvenile justice reform and other long-sought issues this session.
Instead, IDC Leader Jeff Klein of the Bronx indicated in a statement this was aimed at furthering the policy debate with about two weeks to go before a budget agreement is expected.
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Source: Time Warner Cable News/State of Politics (via The Empire Report)