This update serves as my end-of session report, though as you may have noticed, nothing ever really seems to be over in Albany. In early August, the Senate reached agreement on the revenue bill, the final piece of the budget. However, there remain other important issues, such as tenant protection and environmental legislation, which I will be pressing my colleagues to address before the legislative year ends. With the budget, as with everything else in the Senate, the challenge is always getting the 32 votes we need to pass anything, given the close partisan divide. Unfortunately, with the minority choosing to block-vote against almost everything, it has proven very difficult to pass important legislation. But one thing I have learned in the last couple of years in Albany is that the environment can change rapidly, creating opportunities to move beneficial legislation. In the days ahead I will be keeping a close watch for those opportunities. Despite all the problems we faced there were a number of important bills passed this session that will improve the lives of New Yorkers in significant ways. In this newsletter I will first offer a brief update on the status of the State budget, then discuss some of the legislative achievements of the past session.