Thursday, May 14, 2015

Another Theater Filled Week

You’ll be unsurprised to hear that there was a lot of drama here at the Capitol this week.

On Monday, we observed another theatrical performance from the Senate gallery. The transition of the leadership position from Senator Skelos to Senator Flanagan was one that, though strangely celebratory in nature, was nonetheless characteristic of Albany. From the perspective of an observer, one might have thought Skelos was abandoning his position because of retirement, as opposed to corruption charges! The League later attended Senator Flanagan’s press conference.  

On Tuesday, we watched legislation that would close the LLC loophole move swiftly to its grave during a Senate Corporations Committee meeting. Thanks to proxy voting, spectators and the media outnumbered the Senators in the room, with only 3 Senators physically present for this meeting. It’s now up to Senator Flanagan to revive this critical piece of legislation and we, of course, will press him to bring the bill to the floor this session.

And, as expected, the Education Investment Tax Credit made its unfortunate return this week when the Governor announced a new program bill called the Parental Choice in Education Act. The bill still diverts public dollars to private and parochial schools and the League will continue its advocacy work opposing this legislation, as it is bad public policy and we strongly believe public dollars should go to public education. LWVNYS, in coalition with many other groups, will be holding a press conference next week to reiterate our concerns with this legislation. 

Finally, next week the League will be holding its annual Students Inside Albany program! For the beginning of next week, we will be joined by 62 high-school students from across the State and will provide programming that will teach them about New York State government, how they can become involved and give them a chance to explore the Capitol and shadow their legislators. We look forward to sharing highlights from this great program soon. 

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