NY lawmakers unhappy that Cuomo put Dream Act, education revamp, other policy shifts in budget

New York lawmakers complain that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is linking too many big policy discussions like the Dream Act and education reforms to the state budget.

Cuomo has regularly used the budget as leverage to encourage the Legislature to support measures that might be less likely to pass a separate vote. His $142 billion proposal includes a minimum wage increase, enhanced teacher evaluations and the Dream Act, which would extend financial aid to students in the country illegally.

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Cuomo also wants to include a legislative ethics overhaul.

While those issues may have clear links to state spending, many lawmakers say that they deserve stand-alone votes and that the governor is forcing them to make a take-it-or-leave-it decision.

Cuomo says the budget process provides the best leverage to advance good policy.