Cuomo hints at special session for flood relief

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would consider calling the state Legislature back to Albany if the federal government does not quickly dispatch relief funds to the severely flooded parts of upstate.

During a briefing on the damage in Herkimer County on Sunday, Cuomo said he would push for President Obama to declare the flooded sites “disaster areas,” which would allow for the distribution of emergency federal funds. If the federal government does not respond, he will convene a special session, he said.

“The Legislature is not currently in session, and we’ll see how creative we can be on the state side,” Cuomo said. “But worst-case scenario, I would be prepared to call a special session to have the Legislature come back to deal with this issue, if need be, because this is what government is all about.

“But let’s take it one step at a time,” he continued. “First, let’s try to get the federal disaster aid, because I believe — and I’ve been through this a number of times — there is no reason why this doesn’t qualify for federal disaster assistance, and that’s the case I’m going to be making tomorrow to the White House.”

Legislative leaders could not be reached immediately for comment.

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