Legislative session ends without action on several items
The state Assembly and Senate adjourned for the year last night, without any deals on extending control of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s authority over the public school system, or the continuation of sales taxes in upstate and Long Island counties. Assembly Democrats have tied the two issues together in one bill, and Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle called it a basic concept.
“And I support it 100 percent, which is, if you’re going to say you believe in local control, then local control extends to the largest municipality in the state, which is the city of New York,” said Morelle.
But Republicans in the state Senate, along with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, want continuation of mayoral control to be linked to strengthening charter schools, which is something Assembly Democrats have adamantly rejected. And senators want the extension of the county sales tax separated from mayoral control, saying the deadlock is holding counties outside New York City hostage.
Earlier in the day Wednesday, legislative leaders said they hoped for a “grand bargain” that would include the mayoral control extension, the sales tax continuation and some provisions to help charter schools.
Other high profile items that did not make it through this session include extending the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. There was also no agreement on procurement reform, or to address an economic development contracting scandal in the governor’s office.
But the Senate did vote to name the new Tappan Zee Bridge in New York City after Cuomo's late father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo. The Assembly did not take up the measure.
Some lawmakers did not rule out returning to Albany later this year to address unfinished business, but Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie he has no plans to bring back the Assembly.