Bottle Bill Hits Budget Wall

ALBANY—The bottle bill may not make it, although at the moment the budget remains highly fluid.

A pared-down version that would extend deposits to bottled water was in a draft proposal last night, as reported this morning, but it's unclear if even that will pass.

"We're still working on it," said State Senator Antoine Thompson, who has pushed for the expansion.

The measure for bottled water was still alive on Wednesday, but may have now been nixed, according to multiple sources. State Senator Diane Savino told me earlier there is some resistance to it among Democrats in the conference.

Some legislators are planning to stay in Albany through the weekend; if a budget bill is to be passed before the April 1 deadline and allowed to "age" three days, which Republicans are demanding, it would have to be introduced before midnight on Sunday. Assembly members were told to be prepared for session tomorrow and on Sunday evening.

Savino said the Senate still has to discuss whether to include a personal income-tax increase. Assembly Democrats are meeting in conference on that issue now.

Savino said there has, however, been agreement about delaying a proposed nursing home rebasing. How much aid the state will send to hospitals, she said, has not been set. Bottle Bill Hits Budget Wall