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AMHERST TIMES: Important news from our State Capitol


There are seven session days left at the New York State Capitol. Hope continues to fade for any significant legislative action because of the partisan divide going into this election season combined with the current 31-31 Democratic-Republican split in the Senate (Sen. Croci remains on active military service in an undisclosed location).

Nonetheless, advocates continue to push on major issues including the Child Victims Act, Sports Betting, Definition of Public Works, and others. It is possible compromises may be reached on some issues but the clock is ticking: legislation needs to be clocked in before midnight on June 18th to be considered without messages of necessity.

More likely, however, many of these issues will be dealt with after elections. Progressives hope to have a Democratic Senate Majority next year and are unwilling to compromise on many issues as a result. Speaker Heastie indicated last week the Legislature will not be dealing with several key issues, such as Mayor de Blasio's push on New York City's Specialized High Schools, before the end of session.

Speaking of election year politics, the race for Attorney General heated up last week with 2014 Gubernatorial Candidate Zephyr Teachout and Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney officially declaring their candidacies. Maloney, who is also running for re-election in the 18th Congressional District, ran for AG in 2006, losing a three-way primary to now Governor Andrew Cuomo. Teachout and Maloney have to petition across the state to earn a spot on the ballot.
Tish James' designation at the Democratic Party Convention assures her the first position on the ballot and she remains the favorite in the increasingly crowded primary field. James received some big endorsements last week, including Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and NYC Congressmen Adrian Espaillat and Gregory Meeks.

Last week, Governor Cuomo was in Long Island headlining a rally for several key Democratic Candidates for Senate, a move that is sure to further strain his relationship with Majority Leader John Flanagan and the Republican Senate Conference. The "Blue Wave" rally featured Suffolk County Legislator Monica Martinez, who is running for the open seat in Senate District 3 against Republican Assemblyman Dean Murray. Martinez is a top-recruit personally recruited by Cuomo. This will be a race to watch.

Originally published on Amherst Times. Republished with permission.

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