A day after lawmakers left Albany to end the 2018 legislative session, there's talk of them potentially returning to take care of unfinished business, including a renewal of a program for speed cameras near schools in New York City.
“I think it would be an atrocity if the Senate doesn't make sure that the speed cameras are renewed by September,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) said.
The session drew to its scheduled close on Wednesday and supporters of bills that didn't get done remain skeptical they will see any remaining action on them between now and the end of the year. The New York State United Teachers union wanted the passage of a bill delinking teacher evaluations from state examinations.
“They couldn't get it done despite going until 2 o'clock in the morning. I don't know what bringing them back does, but we're optimistic that something can be done,” said Andy Pallotta, NYSUT president.
The issue is now likely to become a campaign one for the teachers union after the Senate approved a bill that reformed the evaluation process, but also boosted charter schools — a move the labor group opposes.
“The bill yesterday would have added 100 charters to New York State, really taking hundreds of millions of dollars from public schools. It's a real betrayal of public schools,” said Pallotta.
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said lawmakers deserved a "C" grade for their handling of the session this year, saying needed changes to the state just didn't happen.
“Because as long as we're not moving on ethics reform, small businesses being helped, reducing the regulatory environment, mandate relief, those major topics are still at a standstill,” Brian Kolb, Assembly Minority leader (R) said.
It's unlikely lawmakers would return early next week; several are running for Congress and federal primary elections will be held Tuesday.