NY Legislature passes budget — 4 months late

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ALBANY, N.Y. — At long last.

Senators passed a $1 billion tax bill to put the finishing touches on the state’s $134.4 billion budget tonight and end a four-month standoff over how to close a gaping deficit.

The long-awaited action, which came after a day of false starts as two Democratic lawmakers withheld their votes in an attempt to negotiate deals, gives taxpayers the fourth-latest state budget in history and latest since 2004. It also clears the way for lawmakers to collect more than $5 million in back wages withheld since the April 1 start of the fiscal year.

The legislation will, starting Oct. 1, lift the sales tax exemption on items of clothing costing less than $110. It will not, however, levy a controversial $50 million tax on out-of-state hedge fund executives.

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