This Week in Albany

Week ending February 2, 2018

Budget Updates

You can learn more about the Executive Budget proposal and its impact on CSEA members on our website. There you will find a copy of CSEA’s budget testimony, a video of the testimony at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Workforce Development, and a video discussion of the budget proposal with CSEA’s region Political Action committees. This website will be updated with more materials and information as they become available.


Special Elections

Governor Cuomo is expected to call a Special Election for the 11 vacant state legislative seats for April 24. There are nine vacancies in the State Assembly and two vacancies in the State Senate.

The April 24 date would set the elections for after the state budget is finalized, potentially important because of what these elections could mean for control of the state legislature.

Democrats and the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) in the senate have said that they will work to take over control of that chamber if Democrats win both Special Elections. However, it remains unclear how likely this “reunification” is before the end of the legislative session.

Federal Update

President Trump gave his first “State of the Union” address this week. The President’s speech largely focused on his first year in office, rather than laying out a policy agenda for 2018. The President did raise the idea of a new $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, but details on what this proposal would actually look like were not made available.

In the short term, Congressional leaders will be focused on negotiating a spending bill, as funding for the federal government expires at midnight on February 8th. Immigration reform and border security remain two of the largest areas of disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill.

At a Glance

The state legislature will be in session for two days next week. The legislature will also hold budget hearings on the topics of local governments, human services, environmental conservation, and taxes.

The 21-day amendments to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal are expected to be released next week. These amendments are usually only technical in nature. Additional policy proposals, like a potential proposal to address federal tax reform, could be added when 30-day amendments are made on February 15.