New York’s lazy Legislature can’t be bothered to work

Even after handing themselves a huge pay hike, New York state lawmakers won’t go back to Albany for a special session — though the need is blatant.

Yes, New York’s Legislature has been “part time” forever, hence the traditional June end of session.

And normally we heave a sigh of relief when lawmakers leave, knowing the damage is done for the year.

But then there’s that raise: They now all draw full-time, six-figure pay — having voted it to hike it 29% to a $142,000 base last December in a special session.

And the need for action is obvious.

Start with criminal-justice fixes.

One in 10 city shooting victims last year was under 18, as were an unconscionable number of the perps.

Statewide, violent crime remains far above pre-pandemic levels.

Shoplifting is still epidemic, killing retail shops across the city and endangering workers.

But Albany won’t fix Raise the Age, the no-bail law or any other recent bungled “reform.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul
Lawmakers skipped town in June having failed to act on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s ambitious plan regarding to the Raise the Age policy or to even offer an alternative solution.
Governor Kathy Hochul Flickr

Then there’s housing.

Lawmakers skipped town in June having failed to act on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s ambitious plan or even to offer an alternative.

Most crucially, years after letting the city’s 421-a affordable-housing tax break lapse, legislators have failed to pass a replacement: Lefties hate it because it lets big builders escape punitive taxation on new residential construction.

Carl Heastie
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said that he does not anticipate holding a special session to revive New York’s stalled legal cannabis industry.

Problem is, builders just won’t build without a chance to turn a profit.

So new NYC building applications have now plummeted.

Manhattan saw only 21 building permits filed by midyear, a record low since 2010 — and only 13 for multiple-dwelling projects. Citywide, it was barely over 100.

July saw no new residential buildings OK’d for Manhattan, and only 10 small buildings citywide.

All this, when market-rate rents are soaring, which should spur construction.

Yet the Legislature’s leaders will only talk about returning to housing in January when they hope to lard up Hochul’s plan with more special-interest provisions, favoring unions and tenants who already have an apartment.

Nor will lawmakers come back to address the failed legal cannabis market.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says no dice on a special session to codify the regulations governing New York’s legal cannabis industry, though an injunction halted the granting of new licenses as well as the opening of any new weed shops.

Let the gray and black markets for pot keep rolling, it seems.

Plenty of other issues merit urgent action, with the migrant crisis heading the list.

Again: These are now the nation’s highest-paid state lawmakers, but the only thing that will get them to make state law for more than half the year is their own most selfish interests.

Speaker Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the gatekeepers for any special session, clearly are following the will of their Democratic members.

That alone is reason to vote out every Democratic legislator in sight the next chance you get.

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