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School budget votes delayed to at least June 1; $177B state budget in flux


School budget votes have been delayed until at least June 1 because of the coronavirus outbreak, by order of Governor Cuomo. 

The votes were to have taken place May 19.

The governor issued the executive order March 30. It states:

"Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections."

Whether the school budget votes take place on June 1 remains to be seen. The coronavirus pandemic is fluid, and if new cases were to continue to arise, the vote could be delayed further, state officials said.

"The state budget was difficult," Cuomo said in his Friday news conference.

Pushing back the vote will also give state and local officials a clearer picture of New York's finances after the COVID-19 virus forced tens of thousands of businesses to close and sales tax collections to plummet. The governor had earlier predicted a $10 billion to $15 billion gap in the state budget, which is unprecedented. 

The state Legislature passed a $177 billion budget April 2, but it is riddled with uncertaintiy because no one knows precisely how long the coronavirus crisis will last, or what form it will take in the near future. The governor has said modeling predicts the the peak of cases in New York is expected within the next seven to 21 days, but the state could continue to see cases into August.