Updated 05/09/2012 08:56 PM
Cuomo outlines priorities for legislative session
With only seven weeks remaining in the legislative session in Albany, there are still a number of key issues that lawmakers plan to address. Governor Cuomo has now indicated what his top priority will be. Our Zack Fink has the story.
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NEW YORK STATE -- Legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo are hoping to pass a bill that clarifies what portion of teacher evaluations can be made public. They also want to reform the New York Racing Association, address prescription drug abuse and raise the state's minimum wage, a priority for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
But this week the governor unveiled a plan to improve the oversight of human services affecting one million New Yorkers who are under the state's care for mental or physical disabilities.
"Of all the things we have to get done or would like to get done, this is the most important and this is the most critical," Cuomo said.
Previously, the governor had not publicly committed to getting any of the other projects done including the minimum wage.
On Wednesday, Senate Democrats announced a plan to highlight women's issues. They invoked the phrase "war on women" to describe the GOP’s stance on some of the bills they support and scoffed at the notion from critics that the phrase is hyperbolic.
"You take a look at other states in this country and you can see the war. Would you rather we call it an assault? An affront? To me they are synonyms. It's a war," said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.
In a statement, Senate Republicans said, "Instead of attempting to create division where none exists, the Senate Democrats should be working with us in a bipartisan way, just like we’ve been partnering with the Governor to move New York forward."
Democrats say they will ask the governor to stand with them on women's health issues.
"Yes, I think it’s totally appropriate to ask for the governor's support for any and all of the bills that we will be discussing," Senator Liz Krueger said.
Publicly, legislative leaders always say that none of these issues are linked and each stands on its own merits. But insiders say deals get made all the time at the end of session. And there is still room for both parties to get a little bit of what they want.