ALBANY—At the Capitol, it’s called a “kumbaya”—a press conference featuring legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Smiles are usually required, as are expressions of optimism and superlative praise.
At the most recent kumbaya, last week, Cuomo said he was “personally very happy and very proud” with what had been accomplished at the end of the 2015 legislative session. He listed more tenant-friendly rent regulations, a new standard of affirmative consent for sexual encounters on private college campuses and new rules to protect workers at nail salons, a response to articles in the New York Times the governor spun as the first step in addressing a “national problem” of exploiting immigrant workers.
The governor, with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan by his side, declared success and dubbed the law-making “robust and extensive.”
But there were many other priorities, left unmentioned by the leaders, that weren’t acted on. And those unaddressed items say as much about the leaders’ abilities and approach as anything else.