Republicans and Democrats are once again at odds over gun control at the Capitol, as the Democratic-led Assembly will pass a bill Wednesday meant to keep guns away from those considered a danger to themselves and others.
"I think it's important to tell the people of the state of New York how important it is to have sensible gun control legislation, particularly since it seems the most recent rash of these unfortunate shootings has been in and around schools," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is backing the so-called "Red Flag" bill, even as he remains skeptical Republicans in the Senate will support it.
" 'There's nothing we can do. Well, it's politics.' No it's not," the governor said. "There's plenty we can do. And it's not politics, it's common sense."
Cuomo may already be looking to the campaign season, releasing a TV ad pushing the measure. Senate Republicans have been non-committal on the bill, but have criticized Cuomo's approach on the gun issue.
"I think we need to focus on mental health and school safety in general," said Sen. Cathy Young (R - Olean).
The session winds down next week, and it's unclear if anything of significance will be accomplished by then. Lawmakers are also at odds over a regulatory plan for sports betting in New York.
"We don't have any indication at this point it's something members want to do, but we'll see what happens over the next couple of days," Heastie said.
Republican bill sponsor John Bonacic says a compromise is needed to keep all casinos in the state on the same playing field.
"If we don't do a sports betting bill, Native Americans are going to be happy and illegal bettors are going to be happy," said Bonacic (R - Mount Hope).
At the same time, a bill reforming teacher evaluations by decoupling state exams from the annual reviews remains stalled. Republicans are tying the bill to a charter school expansion, which Democrats oppose.