The 2019 legislative session is going to be extended at least one more day, as indecisive lawmakers stalled Wednesday unable to resolve several vital issues.
The state Senate called it quits at midnight, planning their Thursday morning return to consider a package of key board and commission nominations—among them, the controversial appointment of State Budget Director Rob Mujica to the MTA Board.
“I just personally have a problem understanding how these two job descriptions aren’t in direct conflict,” said state Senator Liz Krueger, skeptical of Mujica’s ability to separate his role as state budget director from the anticipated MTA gig.
“Under state law he [Mujica] has a major conflict of interest,” John Kaehny of Reinvent Albany told The Post, noting the state budget director green lights certain MTA activities, such as approving waivers for design/build contracts priced over $25 million.
“This gives Mujica far greater leverage over the MTA than other board members.”
Despite the stall, the position is expected to be confirmed, The Post has learned.
Still up in the air are efforts to pass a bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession—which reduces monetary penalties and expunges weed-related arrests—but is likely to clear both chambers, sources told The Post.
Lawmakers are also uncertain about the fate of a bill limiting solitary confinement in prisons, the union-backed prevailing wage expansion to include public and private projects privy to a government subsidy and a “technical clean up bill”—fondly known as the ‘big ugly’—accounting for legislation fixes, capital funding for projects and other miscellaneous goodies.
The Legislature passed other measures Wednesday before calling it quits, including an update the state’s sexual harassment code for private and public sector employees, eliminating the controversial “severe or pervasive” standard from cases.
They also passed an expansion of the statute of limitations for second and third degree rape and a bill granting farmworkers collective bargaining rights and placing a 60 hour limit to the work week.
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Source – https://nypost.com/2019/06/20/indecisive-pols-extend-albany-legislative-session/