Senator wants leaders to schedule fall session day to deal with unfinished business

December 27, 2013

As Senate leaders prepare a 2014 session calendar, Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk called on the Senate's majority coalition leaders to schedule a legislative session day during the fall of 2014, allowing the Legislature to address issues that are left unresolved or that develop after the end of session in June.

"As we saw this year, the issues faced by our constituents are not automatically resolved when the Legislative Session ends in June," Tkaczyk said. "And also like this year, other issues develop after we adjourn. Representing the people is something we do year-round, and we owe it to them to address those issues and take care of the State's unfinished business."

Tkaczyk, D-Duanseburg, noted that in her district, the summer floods severely impacted many of her constituents in Montgomery County. She has assisted in recovery efforts and introduced legislation that would help flood victims by allowing them to pay property taxes on the flood-damaged value of their homes and businesses, rather than the pre-flood value.

"This is really a matter of common sense," Tkaczyk said. "It is blatantly unfair and unproductive to force these people to pay the higher taxes, especially when they're focused on rebuilding. An additional session day would have allowed us to address this issue before property tax bills were mailed out."

But without a fall session day, that measure will have to wait until the 2014 legislative session begins in January. Other matters left unresolved during the 2013 session include setting the 2014 state primary dates, ethics reform and issues concerning new Common Core education standards and their "hasty" implementation in New York state, the senator said.

Tkaczyk wrote to Senators Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein: "As you work with the Assembly to finalize the 2014 Legislative Calendar, I urge you to consider a "fall session day." This would give the Legislature the opportunity to work together to resolve differences on bills, and address the issues and disasters that occur after session ends in June."