Blankenbush Wary Of Special Session

October 20, 2017

This year, I experienced one of the longest and most drawn out ends of session ever. While I understand there needs to be a meeting of the minds and sometimes it is hard to see eye-to-eye, far too much time was spent sitting and waiting in a state of uncertainty. For this reason, I was suspicious when I heard news of a possible “special session” later this year.

Reports indicate Gov. Cuomo has spoken of recalling legislators from across the state to Albany to deal with the issue of health insurance and funding for flooding victims in the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River regions. While these two issues are vitally important for residents across the state, I’m hesitant to return to Albany at the whim of the governor.

If we are going to spend taxpayer dollars on a special session, we need to have an understanding that a deal is in place and will be sorted out as quickly as possible. The issue of health insurance and flood relief funding are crucial matters, and if a special session is called, these are the only two matters that should be discussed.

My hesitancy to return to the State Capitol stems from my experience with the Legislature and the prospect of backroom deals becoming a roadblock in any discussions. While ensuring we allocate the proper resources to the two issues that have arisen sounds simple enough, nothing that happens in Albany is done within a vacuum. I don’t trust the current administration to simply discuss the matters at hand, and there is always a ‘catch.’ My experiences with negotiations in Albany have taught me that nothing is as it seems, and because of this, I have my reservations about spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a special session.

There are immediate issues that need to be addressed in this state, and I am fully supportive of helping do so. However, before returning to Albany, I want to be sure we have what is needed in place and that our visit is merely procedural. No tricks and no games on the taxpayers’ dime will be accepted.

I want to know what you think about this or any other legislative matter. Please contact me by emailing blankenbushk@nyassembly.gov or by calling my office at 315-493-3909