This Week in Albany

Week ending January 30, 2015

Assembly Leadership Change

In what can only be described as 2 days of political wrangling, the Democratic members of the Assembly decided that the current Speaker, Sheldon Silver, must resign his position by Monday or they will present a resolution to oust him.

This decision began a mad dash as to who would replace Mr. Silver, who has held the post for over 20 years. Initially, Assemblymembers Cathy Nolan, Joe Morelle, Joe Lentol, Keith Wright, and Carl Heastie all declared that they would run for the top spot. As of this writing, members Wright, Lentol, and Morelle have withdrawn from the race, leaving Ms. Nolan and Mr. Heastie.

Mr. Heastie, who is from the Bronx and is currently the Chair of the Assembly labor committee, would become the first African-American to hold the position. Ms. Nolan, Chair of the Assembly education committee from Queens, would become the first woman. As of this writing it appears that Mr. Heastie is in the lead.

A formal vote is expected on February 10, but the vote could happen sooner. In the interim, Majority Leader Morelle will be the acting Speaker. Stay tuned.

Budget Update

Joint legislative hearings on the proposed Executive Budget began this week as legislators held hearings on the topics of environmental conservation and transportation. Wednesday’s scheduled hearing for local government officials was pushed back to the end of February due to weather concerns.

For the budget to be considered on time, the Governor and legislature must reach an agreement by the start of the state fiscal year on April 1.

Check the Legislative and Political Action Department’s webpage for budget updates as they become available.

At a Glance

The legislature will be in session for two days and hold four days of public budget hearings next week.

The hearings scheduled for next week will cover health and Medicaid, elementary and secondary education, human services, and housing.

CSEA will testify at the Workforce Development hearing on Friday, February 27.