State lawmakers adjouned this week for the year without renewing a five-year-old law that advocates say saves lives: state authorization for the city to operate 140 cameras to catch speeding drivers outside schools across the five boroughs.
Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed Senate Republicans for failing to pass the Assembly's version of the bill.
"The state Senate has to come back and follow through on this issue," de Blasio said. "The Assembly has already passed the legislation related to speed cameras. If the Senate doesn't act, a lot of kids are going to be in real danger."
But speaking on NY1, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he cannot force Republicans to come back and vote for it.
"It's not as simple as calling a special session," Cuomo said. "The way the legislature works is, you don't want to call them back just to get the same answer, and their answer is that they won't do the speed cameras."
Capitol sources say the holdup was Senator Simcha Felder. the Brooklyn Democrat who conferences with Republicans to enable the GOP to control the upper chamber. He wanted some of his own priorities addressed in exchange for reauthorizing the cameras.
NY1 caught up with Felder on the last day of session.
"Everything is in flux. Everything is being discussed. And we are looking forward to bringing everything to a good conclusion by the end of the day," he said.
But there was no good conclusion for supporters of the safety measure. Lawmakers adjourned after voting on a series of relatively minor bills, but not the speed camera law. Without it, City Hall claims, the speed cameras must be turned off on July 25.
Amy Cohen's son Sammy was killed by a speeding motorist in a school zone four years ago.
"I thought we had eliminated the death penalty in New York, and they just signed the death warrant for hundreds of children in New York," she said.
Senate Republicans put the blame on de Blasio. They say he was completely disengaged from the legsialtive process this year and never called Majority Leader John Flanagan once on the speed camera issue.