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Legislature To Return To Albany Wednesday

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

One week after the New York state legislature declared the 2017 session over, Governor Andrew Cuomo is commanding that lawmakers return for a special session at 1 p.m. Wednesday to deal with some unfinished business. 

First on the governor's agenda is the extension of the New York City mayoral control over the city's school system. It expires on June 30. Lawmakers could not agree on a solution before they adjourned on June 21. 

Republicans in the Senate wanted to tie mayoral control to strengthening charter schools; the Assembly wanted to link mayoral control to the routine extentions of sales tax authorization for most of New York's counties upstate and on Long Island. 

The straight one-year mayoral control extension does not include charter school provisions, and leaves the sales tax reauthorization in limbo. County leaders are complaining, and have asked Cuomo to add the sales tax authorization to the special session agenda. 

Also apparently off the table is ethics reform, even though there’s an economic development scandal in the Cuomo administration. A bill to make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to take legal action has not advanced either.

Under the rules of a special session, Cuomo can propose an agenda, but lawmakers can chose whether to support it or to vote no. A spokesman for the Assembly Democrats says only that the bill will be reviewed and considered. The state Senate has not yet commented.

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