Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters over the weekend that there isn't much more to do in Albany for the rest of the legislative session, although critics strongly beg to differ. Zack Fink filed the following report.
Over the weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo hosted an Easter egg roll at the Executive Mansion in Albany, where he raised some eyebrows when he told reporters there isn't much more to do in Albany, even though the legislative session doesn't end until June.
"The budget did so much work for us that virtually, if you go back to the State of the State and look at the priorities that I listed, you are going to see that almost all of them were done in the budget," the governor said.
But the governor on Monday made a big move of his own. Melissa DeRosa, seen here walking with the Governor, will take over as secretary, the governor's top aide. DeRosa was Cuomo's chief of staff and, prior to that, communications director.
Her family is prominent in Albany, with her father Giorgio serving as a major lobbyist. As chief of staff, DeRosa said she recused herself on matters involving her father's many clients.
Meanwhile, critics seized on the governor's comments, arguing that ethics reform and the Dream act, which allows undocumented students to tap state funds to attend college, should continue to be top legislative priorities for Cuomo.
"I think that is deeply disquieting and absurd. The budget process is not the entire legislative session. And the diea that there is nothing left to do to govern this state, that there are no more laws that need to be passed just strains credulity."
Cuomo says the legislature has refused to pass ethics reform, making its chance unlikely this year.
"They will not do it," Cuomo said. "Their position is 'We did it, we did more ethics reform than ever before,' which is true. There is more disclosure. There is more transparency. My point is, there is more to do, there is no political will to do it. Otherwise, we would have done it in the budget."
There are 26 days remaining on the legislative calendar, meaning two more months of potential work for lawmakers in Albany. One issue that did not get resolved in the state budget is mayoral control of City schools, which was renewed last year for one year but expires in June.