ALBANY — After weighing whether to call members back to the State Capitol, the leader of the state Assembly said Thursday there was no point in doing so without a deal to resolve key issues.
And so it goes with the on again, off again nature of the 2017 legislative session.
Late Wednesday night, the Senate and Assembly ended their regularly scheduled legislative session without resolving two key issues that have been stalemated for months: renewal of laws giving the mayor of New York control of the city’s schools and authorizing dozens of counties — including Nassau and Suffolk — to continue imposing sales taxes.
They are snagged in part because Senate Republicans and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo want to boost the number of charter schools as a condition of renewing the mayoral control law.
Early Thursday, multiple Assembly members said they were contacted and asked to prepare to possibly return to the State Capitol as soon as Friday to act on the stalled issues. But by Thursday afternoon, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie called it off.
In a statement, Heastie (D-Bronx) said: “In May, the Assembly passed legislation to extend mayoral control in New York City as well as local taxes in municipalities across the state. It remains our desire not to return as we are very comfortable with the bill that we passed. However, if the governor and/or the Senate is asking us to engage, we would be derelict in our duties not to consider those requests. With that being said, there is no plan to return.”
The mayoral-control bill is set to expire at the end of this month; county sales tax laws at the end of the year.
Earlier Thursday, Assembly Republican leader Brian Kolb said Heastie contacted him to say members could return to Albany as soon as Friday.
Kolb (R-Canandaigua) had said: “They are calling people back. But they could change their mind and say, ‘We don’t have a deal.’ ”
Kolb added that the back-and-forth wasn’t going over well: “What’s happening right now is the worst I’ve ever seen. They better do something tomorrow or they are going to have a riot on their hands with members.”
A state Senate staffer said talks were underway with the governor’s office at one point. But a Senate spokesman said there were no plans to return unless a deal is struck.