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State budget talks stalled over youth-offender debate

While the average New Yorker could probably name a dozen or more places where they’d expect lawmakers to get hung up around the state budget deadline — this reason might not be quite as ‘expected’.

Then again, those who have been following this story closely understand how important the issue remains for the state.

Proposals to try 16- and 17-year-old offenders in family court tied up state budget negotiations Friday, making the earliest a complete vote could happen is sometime Saturday. Even that seems questionable at this point, since lawmakers seem deadlocked on each side.

Democrats have long wanted to raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16- and 17-year-old offenders are prosecuted in family court. As an alternative, Republicans in the state Senate have proposed creating a new youth court within the adult justice system for violent or felony offenders.

Removing it from the budget would represent a major defeat for Heastie and Democrats who say the age of criminal responsibility is a civil rights issue.

Continue reading about this story from the Auburn Citizen

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