State lawmakers wrapped up the final day of the 2012 legislative session. The Senate and Assembly passed several bills over the past few days, but there are still some loose ends that will have to be addressed later on. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has the latest.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo achieved a late victory on the final day of the legislative session after state Legislature approved his measure that would allow parents to view the evaluations of their child's teacher.
“I'm grateful and I'm appreciative and I think they did the exact right thing in passing the bill,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
Only eighteen out of 212 lawmakers voted against the bill. But there was grumbling from lawmakers that Cuomo's bill was far from perfect and suggestions it could change even after it's signed into law.
“There's a lot more that's going to be happening in this area. It may not be happening in the next couple of days, but I think this is going to be evolving in the next couple of months,” said State Senate John Flanagan.
But the governor says that isn't going to happen.
“Not with me, no. I have no intention of revisiting the bill in six months or a year,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo introduced the bill late Monday night and said he was through negotiating with lawmakers. The measure allows parents and legal guardians to view teacher evaluations, but all others have limited disclosure without the names of teachers The Democratic-led Assembly said it would take the bill up immediately, but the Republican Senate balked until Thursday, the final day of session.
“We made a conscience decision after discussion in conference that this struck a balance between the parent's right to know and some confidentiality so it's a good balance and we're going to support it,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a major campaign contributor for Senate Republicans, had lobbied hard to kill Cuomo's proposal. Bloomberg favors full disclosure of teacher evaluations, a prospect that made lawmakers in both parties uneasy.
“It's the right thing to do and they're doing it. People want it. Parents want it. Teachers want. School administrators want it. The only one who has voiced opposition is the mayor of the city of New York,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.
The disclosure measure was the final outstanding item left on the Legislature's plate after proposals to decriminalize marijuana, raise the minimum wage and cut business taxes stalled. Lawmakers have not ruled out coming back later this year either before or after the November elections. All legislative leaders deny there's any talk of raising lawmakers' pay.