It's a new year for Albany -- and with it new challenges, including a $4.5 billion budget shortfall lawmakers have to close.
"I always worry about a difficult year, because this governor has tremendous power -- more power than any executive than any state in the nation," said Sen. Jim Tedisco (R - Glenville). "On the other side of this, it may be an easier year. When you don't have the money, you have to rein in your spending. You have to tighten up your belt."
When Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his eighth State of the State address Wednesday, some lawmakers want to see how he'll tackle jobs in upstate New York and whether he'll propose any remedies to public corruption.
"The upstate economy is still not percolating along as it may be in New York City," said Assembly minority leader Brian Kolb. "What are we going to do about corruption? That's going to be a huge topic after the first of the year."
The case of Cuomo's former close aide Joe Percoco and prominent upstate developers will go to trial later this month. The defendants are charged with bid rigging and bribery. Now some lawmakers want to scale back the economic development spending at the heart of those cases.
"We have to look at all the different programs, like the economic development programs. We want to do a full review on that," said Sen. Cathy Young (R - Olean).
For Democrats, there's a concern the deficit could harm progress made last year, like in higher education.
"We're providing free college. We don't want to let quality slip within our colleges," said Assemblywoman Pat Fahy (D - Albany).
And then there are the politics of 2018, with a Democratic deal to unify the state Senate struck last year. The deal remains fragile. Republicans argue the state is better off with a divided, bipartisan government.
"If we have one voice, a lot of people are going to be getting on a bus, more so than now," Tedisco said. "That's not the trajectory I'm talking about. I believe the taxpayers of New York state want to keep two alternative voices."
The Senate could flip to Democratic control soon after the budget, but only if the deal holds.