Thursday, January 28

COVID-19 Pandemic Marks First Day of Sessions at State Legislature in Albany


COVID-19 Pandemic Marks First Day . Sessions at State Legislature in Albany

Sessions at the Capitol in Albany will last until June, when summer recess begins.

Photo: Supplied / Supplied

This Wednesday was started in Albany to the session . the State Legislature and the first day was marked by the coronavirus pandemic. Both assembly members and senators could not be present at the capitol building, and instead they performed virtual meetings to started the new legislative period that will last two years.

But another reality that will also be new in this period . sessions is that for the first time the two legislative chambers will have one Democratic ‘super-majority’, which will allow that party to have total dominance with 43 out . 30 senators and 107 . the 150 assembly members. With this super-majority they will be able to annul vetoes . the Governor without having to make deals with other parties that have a minority representation, such as the Republican case.

And precisely about the governor, on this first day . sessions, Andrew Cuomo did not deliver his annual speech on the State . the State . New York, as established by the state Constitution that indicates that this speech coincides with the beginning . the legislative sessions. Instead, Cuomo reported that He will deliver his speech on January 11.

Carl Haste, who was re-elected yesterday as president . the Assembly, said on the first day . sessions that in the next year “our fundamental values ​​will not waver. As we face the global COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to providing our children with a quality education and ensuring access to affordable housing, higher education, and healthcare. We will work to put New York in a strong fiscal position and restore our place as a world economic leader. “

On the coronavirus crHasteaste said that we hope “that our children will return to school safely and that hard-working New Yorkers return to work to set the wheels . our economy in motion,” adding, “I look forward to working with all my colleagues on the government to keep moving New York forward. “

What issues will have priority?

The new session that began this Wednesday will last until June 18, when the summer break begins. And in these next six months, there are several topics that will have priorities in the discussions, the biggest being the financial crisis created by the coronavirus. On this point, the Governor and lawmakers will have to figure out how to close the state’s huge budget gap, which could include raising taxes and even laying .f lay.fs.

But without a doubt that one . the great hopes that is had in Albany is that the so is achieved wanted help from the federal government, which still does not materialize. The new state budget must be approved no later than April 1, and both Cuomo and the Legislature They hope that with the new Joe Biden admiFurther,ion, and possibly a Democratic-majority federal Senate, that help can be achieved.

Another issue that will affect discussions in the State Assembly and Senate will be the measures that need to be passed to stop the second wave . the coronavirus, including possible measures to close some sectors . the economy.

But also, it is possible that some proposals that did not pass in the last session, such as approving a law to legalize the recreational use . marijuana.

However, before any proposal begins to be analyzed, on this first day . sessions the first thing that legislators do is decide what the rules . the procedures that will govern the sessions will be, something that happens at the beginning . each legislative period . two years . And taking into account that these meetings will be held remotely, now more than ever it is more important that every detail . how these sessions will work, what the participation will be like and how the voting processes will be decided. This will include making sure New Yorkers have access to these hearings.

Key Issues in the State Legislature:

  • Financial crisis created by the coronavirus. On this point, the Governor and legislators will have to find a way to close the state’s huge budget gap.
  • This may include a tax increase on the wealthiest
  • Measures to control the coronavirus pandemic such as restrictions and closures.
  • Aid to tenants and merchants, mainly small businesses.
  • One . the hottest topics is the moratorium on evictions.
  • Insist on the help . the federal government, especially now with the new Joe Biden admiFurther,ion.
  • Further reforms to the judicial system, reforms to the electoral system and approving funds for education will be discussed.

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