It was another busy year in Albany that was marked by early accomplishments and late session failures. State House reporter Zack Fink takes a look back at the year in state government and filed the following report.
In January, Governor Andrew Cuomo sent the legislature a gun control bill, just 30 days after the tragic Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in neighboring Connecticut. With some arm-twisting in the State Senate, the bill passed and was signed into law, making New York State the first to tighten gun restrictions following Newtown.
The progressive legislation continued right up through the budget deal in late March. The governor and the Democrats were able to secure an increase in the minimum wage, which was offset by tax cuts, largely impacting families outside of the city.
But as the session headed into the final weeks, Governor Cuomo was also dealt some major setbacks. A push for campaign finance reform died on the senate floor, and a 10 point women's equality agenda went down in flames over a controversial abortion provision.
This was also a year in which new problems over sexual harassment plagued the State Assembly. Assemblyman Vito Lopez was forced to resign his seat after female staffers accused him of inappropriate conduct. Lopez later ran for the New York City Council and lost. Other allegations later surfaced against two other members of the Assembly.
Speaker Sheldon Silver was roundly criticized for his handling of those cases.
Albany was also marred by corruption charges which included the arrest of State Senator Malcolm Smith.
With the new Mayor-elect set to take office next week, a potential clash has been set up between Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo over de Blasio's plan to fund universal pre-k with a new Albany approved tax on wealthier New Yorkers.
Cuomo has talked only about cutting taxes next year.