November 29, 2010

State Relations Update - Nov. 29, 2010

SPECIAL SESSION - The Governor has called for a extraordinary session of the Senate and Assembly for today at 3:00 pm. As of 4:15 pm, both the Assembly and Senate have convened special session and have recessed for individual party conferences.  The proposed agenda was as follows:
   - enacting a plan to provide for adequate savings and implementation of other measures to allow for the continued operation of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation;
   - enacting legislation that would implement provisions of the 2010-11 budget for Education, Labor and Family Assistance;
   - reducing expenditures for the 2010-11 budget;
   - amending Chapter 536 of the Laws of 2010 concerning the jurisdiction of the Division of Human Rights over claims made under that statute;
   - amending Chapter 225 of the Laws of 2010 concerning the effective date of that provision and the time for covered entities to come into compliance;
   - eliminating the notification required prior to the closure of state facilities;
   - renaming the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel for Governor Hugh L. Carey;
   - appropriating funds received through the federal education jobs fund program;
    - authorizing the Dormitory Authority to create a subsidiary to hold certain properties currently in the possession of North General Hospital;
   - creating a commission to evaluate and adjust judicial salaries; and
   - acting on gubernatorial nominations.

In addition, aspects of the Governor's agenda called for an additional reduction of state support at the local assistance level including higher education (community colleges and CUNY).  This would correspond to the October 2010 reduction imposed on the state operated campuses.  While specifics are unknown at this time, it is anticipated that the potential reductions would be similar to those FMAP reductions enacted earlier this year - 2%. 

However, at this time there is no legislation in draft form and nothing to review.  There is also no agreement between the leaders that the deficit reduction plan has to be taken up now.  Given the overarching political maneuvering of the Senate, Assembly, Governor and Governor-elect, it is unclear as to what will actually occur this evening, but most believe no action will be taken.  If some accord is reached action could be possible tomorrow.

We will continue to monitor these events and keep you posted.

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