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Cuomo blames legislature for unfinished business, threatens to call them back

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke about the end of the legislative session Thursday in Albany

Gov. Cuomo says the state legislature fell down on the job by leaving town without passing an extension of mayoral control for the New York City schools, and he has not ruled out calling them back for a special session.

Cuomo says by not voting to extend the Bill de Blasio’s authority over the public schools, they essentially voted for a return to the dysfunction of the old system of multiple community school boards. 

“It is a dereliction of duty,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo says he’s considering holding a special session, but hopes that lawmakers will hear enough from their constituents to decide to return on their own. 

“If they go home and they are not assaulted by the residents of their district and chased back to Albany, then yes, I would call a special session,” he said.

The Assembly briefly made plans to return to the Capitol on Friday, but changed their minds when it was clear there was no agreement on mayoral control, or how to extend sales tax for most of New York’s counties, which also was not renewed in the final days of the session.

The governor concedes he also failed to get lawmakers to agree to renew sales tax authorization for most of the state’s counties, or a measure to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse more opportunities to take legal action.  And he says he’d like more ethics reform but disagrees with the legislature’s bill to reinstate the state Comptroller’s oversight over economic development contracts. Nine former Cuomo associates face trial on charges ranging from bid rigging to bribery over some of the state’s largest economic development projects.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.