The New York State Capitol in Albany.

The New York State Capitol in Albany. Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

Daily Point

Still huddling on housing

Albany lawmakers will be talking about housing — a lot — in the next two days.

After a smaller committee of legislators from both houses met multiple times last week, the issue is heading to the majority conference in both the State Senate and the Assembly. Senate Democrats are expected to discuss housing within their conference Monday night, while it’s likely to be a subject the Assembly majority takes up on Tuesday.

Whether legislation emerges from those conversations remains up in the air — but the deadline for any legislation to be filed is Tuesday night at midnight, sources told The Point. While the session officially is supposed to close Thursday, lawmakers are expecting that they’ll be staying until Friday to get everything done.

Many housing-related issues remain on the table — including tenant protections like those found in good cause eviction, New York City tax credit programs like 421a, and the possibility of incentivizing suburban communities in regions like Long Island to come up with their own housing plans — or to actually build housing units. One idea being discussed, sources told The Point, is to make good cause eviction required in New York City, while other municipalities could “opt-in” if they want to be part of it. On Long Island, other housing ideas — including the notion of establishing a faster, easier building permit process by allowing builders to obtain independent certification — remain in the mix, too.

Lawmakers are limited in what they can do right now, since they can’t appropriate funds outside the budget. But several who have been part of a smaller committee of legislators from both houses that have been meeting over the last week told The Point they’d like to leave Albany having done something on increasing the housing supply — even if it’s just a start to a larger effort.

And, of course, anything the legislature comes up with will require Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature.

Even if something does emerge this week, it’s likely that the legislature will need to revisit the entire housing issue next year during the budget process, especially anything with financial implications. So, no matter how much lawmakers talk — or even come up with legislation — in the next couple of days, it won’t be the end of the discussion.

— Randi F. Marshall

Pencil Point

What voters see

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Final Point

It’s elementary

  • Some educational programs in Russia, inspired by the Kremlin, have adopted a version of the ABCs to inform their students about the Ukraine war, such as: A is for Army and B is for brotherhood. Perhaps the next entries should be C is for casualties and D is for disarray.
  • Lawyers for former President Donald Trump met with Justice Department officials Monday after requesting a meeting on what they say is prosecutorial misconduct in the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents. Of course, one person’s prosecutorial misconduct is another’s delay, delay, delay.
  • Democrats exasperated with Sen. Joe Manchin might be snickering at his approval rating of 33% in his home state of West Virginia. But they won’t be snickering if that translates to him retiring or losing his seat to a Republican next year.
  • GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says the “America First” agenda does not “belong” to former President Donald Trump and that he is going to “take that agenda even further.” Further than Trump?
  • Maryland Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin is thinking about running for the seat of retiring Sen. Ben Cardin, saying that “these Senate seats only open every 25 or 30 years” — and nailing exactly what’s wrong with the oft-sclerotic institution.
  • After a Tennessee law banning drag shows in public places or where children might see them was struck down by a federal judge as a free speech violation, Tennessee’s GOP Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson said he was “disappointed.” Given this is the same state where Republican lawmakers recently expelled two Democratic House members for conducting a gun control protest on the House floor, it's clear the GOP has a First Amendment problem.
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this week are joining the race for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. The yawning reaction was the type that greets two 20-to-1 shots joining the Kentucky Derby field.

— Michael Dobie

Correction: The proposed Clean Slate bill cleared the State Senate last year, but was not taken up in the Assembly. The current version, while being negotiated, had yet to be approved by either house as of the weekend. The bill's legislative status was incorrectly described in The Point on Friday.

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