Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R, C, I – Greenwood Lake) today blasted the governor and members of the Legislature for being distracted with the special election being held in Queens today in the 13th State Senate District, a seat currently held by scandalized state Senator Hiram Monserrate. She called on both houses to stay in Albany until a budget agreement has been reached, despite special elections, weekends and holidays.
“We have a serious job to do on behalf of the millions of New Yorkers who entrusted us with this responsibility. We need to get this budget done, but nothing is happening. Last night, I met with the governor and, while that was a great opportunity, we are no closer to having a budget agreement. I was asked to serve on a conference budget committee, yet no committees have held meetings or hearings. I am calling on my colleagues in both houses, as well as the governor, to put aside distractions and stay in Albany until we have an agreement to vote on,” said the assemblywoman.
The state budget deadline is April 1 and Assemblywoman Rabbitt was shocked to learn that this was the same week lawmakers were taking off from holding session. Because the week is book-ended by Palm Sunday and Easter and contains Passover, the assemblywoman was hoping that the “three men in a room” would broker a budget agreement ahead of time, in anticipation of religious observances and commitments at home. However, due to the inaction of the majority of legislators, not just the three men, Assemblywoman Rabbitt is now calling on the governor and all legislators to stay in Albany until an agreement is made, despite the “session calendar.”
She stated, “As much I would love to spend the weekend and holidays at home with my own family and loved ones, I have a greater obligation to the thousands of families in my district, the majority of who are struggling. We must negotiate a budget that helps these families, cuts taxes, reduces fees, and makes it easier for them to survive. More than that, we must help them succeed, and for that they need jobs, houses, transportation, education, and health care. These issues are not being addressed here in Albany. I am dismayed that my colleagues are planning spring breaks when the people’s work is not complete; in fact, not even started.”