Lawmakers optimistic about ride sharing as budget deadline looms

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Some lawmakers are saying they aren’t leaving the State Capital without passing a budget before the start of the fiscal year. That means they might have to work into the weekend or get a deal done on Monday.

Lawmakers have until midnight Friday to approve the state budget, but they are still debating.

A critical issue still on the table is ride sharing.

“I think right now I’m feeling very good it’s going to be in the budget,” said Senator Chris Jacobs.

Buffalo is the biggest city in the country that doesn’t have ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Governor Andrew Cuomo included it in the state budget for the first time this year.

“I think when something is put in the budget it’s a sign that it’s a priority and there’s a much better chance of getting it passed,” said Jacobs.

If ride sharing gets passed, state officials say we could see regulations in place in the next two or three months.

Another big issue is whether the age of adult criminal responsibility should be raised from 16 to 18 years-old. New York and North Carolina are the only states that try 16 and 17 years-olds as adults.

“I think we’ve done a very good job of balancing public safety while the same time recognizing 17 year-olds are different, they should be treated differently. Whether it becomes a part of the final budget or not, I don’t know at this point,” said New York Senator Patrick Gallivan.

At this point, lawmakers are focused on the big picture which is passing a budget as soon as possible.

“I’m very much hopeful the budget will be done soon, we were actually talking about going back into session tonight and staying here until we get it done,” said Jacobs.

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