December 14th, 2007
Correction: This item originally stated that gridlock in Albany stalled legislation extending the program to provide tax breaks for construction of affordable housing in the city. That is incorrect. A revision and extension of the so-called 421-a program passed the legislature and was signed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer in August.
The State Senate came back to Albany yesterday to confirm a judge’s appointment, pass a bill raising salaries for the state’s judges and debate increasing their own pay. And, according to the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin that could well be the end of the legislature’s 2007 work year. The infamous Albany gridlock apparently has become so bad that the three men in the room cannot even agree when to meet. State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno blamed the Assembly for leaving so many issues unresolved as the year ends. “I am dismayed, disappointed, frustrated, exasperated that the Assembly for the fourth time since we left in June is not here to do the people’s business,” Bruno told the Press.
According to the Associated Press, Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office says the Assembly could still meet before the end of the year. But Bruno has indicated his members are done until January.
Unless something changes that means 2007 will end without a new state campaign finance bill, raises for judges and legislators, and a deal for running thoroughbred races at Aqueduct and Belmont. A number of important city issues hang in the balance as well, including the construction of a recycling facility on Manhattan’s Gansevoort pier — key to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s solid waste program.
“The gridlock here now is worse than I’ve seen it in decades,” Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director for the League of Women Voters, told the Daily News. “It’s all because of the toxic atmosphere these people are functioning in.”By Gail Robinson on December 14, 2007, 2:25 pm
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