The state Legislature will head into the final four days of the legislative session starting tomorrow afternoon.
But it might not be the end.
There has been some talk around the Capitol in recent days that the Legislature may eye a midsummer special session to address issues that can’t be resolved before the session is scheduled to end Thursday.
The reason is simple: politics.
Republicans are concerned about potential primaries from conservatives if they do too much to appease Democrats and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the waning days of the session. So if they wait to do any deal with Democrats, say a broader public financing of campaigns, until after the petitioning process in mid July, they wouldn’t be so much at risk in September primaries.
The five-member Independent Democratic Conference may also be eager for a special session this summer. At least two of them, Sen. Jeff Klein, the group’s leader, and Sen. Tony Avella, D-Queens, are already in primaries with Democratic foes.
Sens. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, and David Valesky, D-Syracuse, could also end up with primary challengers.
But if they can get their Republicans partners to go along with some reforms Democrats want—perhaps public financing in exchange for an education tax credit for private schools—it could take some of the edge off the IDC members’ primaries.
And now Cuomo himself might face a primary. Zephyr Teachout plans to announce her intentions to challenge Cuomo tomorrow, knocking his record on progressive issues.
All of it is speculative, of course, but probably worth watching as the Legislature will likely leave Albany this week with some of Democrats’ top priorities unresolved: public financing, the Dream Act and increasing the minimum wage, to name a few.