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New York State Legislative session begins Wednesday


New York lawmakers are returning to Albany this week to begin their work for 2017. This year's agenda includes proposals to modernize the state's voting rules, address government corruption and permit the ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft to expand upstate.

Other prominent proposals include legislation to allow the terminally ill to request life-ending medication from a physician and a bill to end the state's practice of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

Democrats will have majorities in the state senate and assembly, but Republicans will maintain control of the senate. The Independent Democratic Caucus, a group of seven breakaway legislators who have formed a coalition with republican senators in the past, are planning to continue that alliance this year. Democrats say they will look for ways to stand up to republican President-elect Donald Trump if he moves to restrict abortion rights, deport immigrants or roll back efforts to address climate change.

And several central and northern New York lawmakers say they will again take up the fight to shift the costs of indigent legal services, mandated legal services for the poor from the counties to the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently vetoed the bill, but he says he is willing to work with lawmakers toward a solution on the issue. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.