Lawmakers return to Albany

Updated: 01/13/2014 8:31 PM
Created: 01/13/2014 8:24 PM WHEC.com

It's a part time job that pays a lot. On Monday, the state lawmakers you elected are back to work in Albany.

For months, we've been focusing on high taxes and fees in New York State and we're doing it because we know you love where you live, but all the taxes can take a toll.

It's been several months since lawmakers were last here, but now they are back in session and first up for them is tackling the state budget which they plan to pass before the April 1 deadline. If they do it would be the 4th year in a row that the budget has been on time.

Another issue, a seat left vacant by former Assemblyman Bill Reilich who left to become Greece supervisor. That seat remains empty at this point. When it will be filled is up to Governor Cuomo. He can either schedule a special election or wait until November for the general election. We checked with his office and News10NBC is told he still has not made a decision on that.

We're also taking a look at voting records. News10NBC found 22 state lawmakers missed voting on 100 or more bills last year. Some of them were officially excused by their colleagues in both the Senate and Assembly.

Most of those missed votes were in the last few weeks of the session last year. When a majority of bills are decided here in the Capitol building. But as we discovered those missed votes didn't make or break any of the bills decided last year. The reason why? Those bills are decided long before it hits the floor in either chamber decided not in a public forum but behind closed doors.

Most of their decisions are made behind closed doors of members of those conferences deciding whether they want to support it as a group.

"There's bills where it's going to be controversial and might not pass. The leadership might not even allow it to come up to floor," says Phil Mahoney.

You will see some of that voting take place over the next few months, but a majority of the bills are voted on and passed towards the end of the session in June.

In Albany, the Senate and Assembly have both wrapped up for the day. They'll work Tuesday and then are off until the following Tuesday. All waiting to dig into Governor Cuomo's budget.

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