Gov. Cuomo really wants the legislature back in Albany.
He has asked several times in the past two weeks for lawmakers to consider returning – to figure out how the state can survive a potential $21 billion annual cut to federal aid and to authorize millions of dollars for flood-ravaged communities upstate.
On Tuesday, he sent out a letter inviting the legislature to return.
Though the governor has the power to force lawmakers to convene in Albany, he knows they can refuse to act once they’re back.
“There is no point in calling a special session of the legislature unless it is productive, and that requires agreement of both Houses of the Legislature on a specific agenda,” Cuomo said.
The governor has said repeatedly that the state should not wait until the budget deadline of April 1 to address severe financial hardship looming because of plans to cutt healthcare and overhaul the tax code.
“It is important that we act quickly,” he said.
Cuomo also wants to increase funding for those who suffered from severe flooding of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River earlier this year.
The legislature authorized $45 million for homeowners, businesses and local governments and Cuomo wants to add another $35 million.
“Many applicants have argued that they simply cannot wait seven months for funding,” he said in the letter. “I find their arguments persuasive… I would support a special session of the legislature.”