NY lawmakers near deal on sales tax, Mario Cuomo Bridge

Cuomo calls for special session to extend mayoral control

A special legislative session called by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resolve a stalemate over control of public education in New York City got off to a sluggish start Wednesday as lawmakers compiled a long wish-list of other issues they'd like to see addressed. His son pushed to build the new bridge to replace the current, aging Hudson River crossing, formally named the Gov. Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge.

"In the letter, Cuomo called NY a "donor state" that pays in "$48 billion more in taxes to the federal government than it receives in federal spending.

"The Executive Order may be well-intentioned, but it is fatally flawed and can not be fixed through informal guidance or implementation plans", Briccetti said in a letter to the Cuomo administration.

"I think it's something that could be dealt with and I think you have to have leverage to deal with it and if you give away the main piece that the New York City crowd wants, namely mayoral control, you don't resolve some of these other issues", said Sen. Several different ideas emerged Wednesday, ranging from a straightforward two-year extension of mayoral control, and a short, two-week extension to buy lawmakers more time.

Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats went into closed-door conferences Wednesday afternoon to discuss the legislative agenda for the day.

There's disappointment, too, for what the bill did not include: No financial help for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is struggling with an ongoing crisis surrounding the reliability of the subway system for New York City and a lack of reforms to how the state oversees, tracks and spends on major economic development projects.

"In the 19th Congressional District, more than $224 million is handed over from property taxpayers to pay for Cuomo's Medicaid program", Faso said in "fact check" statement released Monday. Some said they expected the session to continue into Thursday or Friday. That measure made it into the final bill passed this morning by the Assembly and awaits approval by the Senate today. Pensions for police and firefighters in New York City are being bolstered.

Cuomo went to say that the NY middle class can't afford more taxes and, if the bill does pass, "Faso, Collins and other Republican members of New York's delegation who supported it will have to answer to the people of this state for it". The Senate approved the local tax extenders in standalone bills.

As it stands, the state sales tax is 4 percent, which is on top of what counties charge.

Sen. Thomas O'Mara, R-Big Flats, Chemung County, said the state could find the $2.3 billion to alleviate the cost on counties, saying it wouldn't take effect until 2020.

"I'm not a soothsayer", Heastie said.

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