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Politics and Government

Stirpe weighs in on what Albany can get done before session ends in June

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Courtesy of New York State Assembly
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Before the state’s legislative session ends in mid-June, local lawmakers are weighing in on what can be accomplished. Democratic Assemblyman Al Stirpe of Syracuse said two big issues at the top of lawmakers’ lists include addressing the heroin and opioid epidemic and ethics reform.  

"I think there's going to be some parts of ethics legislation," Stirpe said. "There are things that one of the houses definitely resist very hard that I think 90 percent of the people of New York feel should be changed. We're going to work very hard to make sure we get some meaningful ethics changes before the end of the session."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he supports canceling the pensions of lawmakers convicted of felonies. The Assembly has asked for that bill to contain language  to allow a judge to determine if a pension should be paid to the family. Cuomo said he is also considering term limits for legislators, closing the LLC campaign finance loophole and further limiting outside income for legislators.

Stirpe said most of the bills that will be passed will happen in the last week of the session.

"There will be some things that will deal with the heroin and opioid epidemic," Stirpe said. "I think that's really been close to the top of everyone's list. I'm pushing for a statewide paint recycling program that we could start next year."

Stirpe said there may also be some activity regarding the new changes to the STAR property tax rebate program, which he said there are some issues. Cuomo proposed the changes to the STAR program, which turns an upfront rebate on school taxes into an income tax credit for new homeowners and residents that move.