State lawmakers emerged from a closed door negotiating session Thursday saying they are focusing on efforts to pass the state budget before spring recess.

State Senator James Seward says that with a budget agreement in hand, New York is on track to pass the 2013-14 state budget well ahead of the April 1 deadline, the third straight on time budget and the earliest in 30 years.

"The plan focuses on my key priorities: Job growth, tax relief for middle-class families, and additional education aid for area schools," Seward said. "The final budget will incorporate elements of the Senate Republican Family Tax Relief Act, extending tax cuts to middle class workers, helping families with a $350 rebate check and incorporating a total of $800 million in new tax cuts."

Among other things, the plan calls for the elimination of the energy tax surcharge over a three year phase out, tax incentives to hire veterans and credits for hiring teens.

Seward says he was most impressed by additional education aid to our area schools, particularly those in need.

Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos and Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver say they remain on track to vote on the budget this weekend before a three week vacation.