- Associated Press - Saturday, January 14, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - This week in New York state government, lawmakers await the details of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s big proposals amid tense relations between the Legislature and the Democratic governor.

Cuomo is required to submit his formal budget proposal this week, days after he wrapped up six State of the State speeches around the state.

Lawmakers will look to see how Cuomo plans to pay for proposals including free state college tuition for middle-class students, an expanded child-care tax credit and $2 billion for water quality.

A guide to what’s coming up in the Capitol:

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STATE BUDGET

The governor’s formal budget proposal is due to lawmakers Tuesday. The massive, complicated document will contain all the details about the money behind Cuomo’s big and expensive ideas.

Lawmakers plan to hold a series of hearings in the coming weeks and months on the budget, which they hope to approve by April 1.

The process could be bumpy this year. Relations between the Democratic governor and lawmakers are strained. Many blamed him for killing their first pay raise in 18 years last month. Some were angered even more when Cuomo skipped the traditional State of the State address to instead deliver a series of speeches around the state - on days when lawmakers already planned to be in session in Albany.

“They’re deeply offended,” State Republican Chairman Ed Cox said of lawmakers. “He’s running around the state, but he has to return and face the Legislature.”

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TWO MORE CASINOS POISED TO OPEN

Crews are hurrying to complete construction of two new upstate casinos set to open next month.

Rivers Casino in Schenectady and Del Lago Casino and Resort in the Finger Lakes will be the second and third of four planned casinos to open. The first of 67 gambling tables arrived at Rivers on Thursday.

Tioga Downs opened last month in the Southern Tier. The fourth, Montreign Resort Casino, has not announced an opening date.

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FATE OF RACING ASSOCIATION

The future of the New York Racing Association is the topic of a significant state Senate hearing Tuesday.

The meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering is intended to focus on plans to reorganize the association, which operates the thoroughbred tracks at Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga.

NYRA was put under state control following bankruptcy. The association’s board has recommended a return to private, nonprofit status. Currently, most of the association’s board members are appointed by Cuomo and lawmakers.

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MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Lawmakers will take Monday off to honor the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., but the Empire State Plaza Convention Center adjacent to the Capitol will be open to once again host the state’s official MLK Day observance.

This year, Emmy-winning violinist Damien Escobar will join the Syracuse Children’s Chorus and others in performing at the annual event.

Education advocate Geoffrey Canada will deliver the keynote address.

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