New York lawmakers will return to Albany on Wednesday to begin their work for 2017, a session expected to include debates over voting laws, corruption, Uber's proposal to expand upstate and the state's response to the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Along the way they'll also budget tens of billions of dollars of state spending on education, health care and roads and bridges, and decide the fate of hundreds of other bills, including proposals to ban the declawing of cats, end the practice of prosecuting and imprisoning 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults and authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician.
"There is so much to do," said Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers. "We have to move our economy forward, lower the tax burden, provide fair funding for our struggling schools. We must fix our election process and make it easier for more people to vote and at the same time pass strong ethics reforms."
The 2016 election will continue to play a major role in 2017. Democrats say the state should push back against Trump if he cracks down on people in the country illegally, seeks to restrict abortion rights or rolls back efforts to address climate change. Already, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed funding a new hate crimes task force to address what he says is an uptick in incidents and an initiative to provide legal help to immigrants facing deportation. Read full post here