State legislature looks to be going into overtime

The state legislature is likely going to keep working past the end of session Thursday night.
Photo courtesy of Darren McGee – Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

Some state lawmakers are saying the legislature could be working as late as Saturday morning to get a litany of bills passed, more than a day after the state legislative session is supposed to end Thursday night.

“We’re on like the second bill of the day and it’s five o’clock,” Assembly Member Robert Carroll (D – Brooklyn) told PoliticsNY early Thursday evening. “I don’t see us finishing up by late night tonight. So my guess is probably about Saturday morning. I’ve been wrong before though.”

Carroll said his chamber is still ironing out the details on several major pieces of legislation like the Clean Slate Act – a bill that would clear formerly incarcerated individuals’ conviction records – and the Build Public Renewables Act, which would require the New York Power Authorty to provide only renewable energy. Both passed bills have already passed the Senate.

But Carroll said he wasn’t sure about the fate of the legislation known as Good Cause Eviction, a bill aimed at protecting tenants from being evicted for any reason a landlord chooses.

“I think Clean Slate, Build Public Renewables are still being hashed out a little bit,” Carroll said. “I don’t know about Good Cause, but it’s hard to tell right now.”

Legislation that would give Mayor Eric Adams control over the city’s public schools for the next two years is “pretty set in stone,” Carroll said. Adams wasn’t happy with the deal announced Monday, that would increase the size of the city’s Panel for Education Policy (PEP) and included a bill to reduce class sizes over the next five years.

Carroll isn’t the only lawmaker indicating the legislature will likely be working past Thursday night. In an email obtained by PoliticsNY, Assembly Member Helene Weinstein (D – Brooklyn) was quoted saying “We’ll be seeing each other again tomorrow” at the end of her Committee on Ways and Means meeting Thursday morning.

While session may not be ending Thursday, both chambers still passed a number of landmark bills. These included the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Preservation Trust and the Voting Rights Act.

The NYCHA Preservation Trust, which passed the state Senate by a 38-25 vote and the Assembly by a 132-18 vote, would establish a new entirely public city agency, which its champions say would allow the public housing authority to unlock billions of dollars in federal funding to make long-overdue repairs to its over 25,000 apartments.

Mayor Eric Adams, who rallied in support of the trust last week, was quick to applaud its passage.

“My administration fought tirelessly alongside residents and our partners in Albany to pass this bill that will unlock critical resources, with legal protections, to keep residents at the center of the process of improving their homes. NYCHA residents deserve a menu of options to choose the approach and the tools that they think will best deliver the quality of life they deserve, and, with Governor Hochul’s signature, the Public Housing Trust will be a major addition to that menu.”

Additionally a package of gun control bills is likely to pass. The bills include a requirement that those seeking to own a semi-automatic weapon have to obtain a license and be at least 21-years-old. It also contains restrictions on who can buy body armor, strengthens the state’s existing Red Flag Law and requires microstamping for new guns sold in New York.