ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–The hallways of the New York State Capitol were quiet on Tuesday. Session was not held because of the snowstorm, but it does not mean lawmakers were not working.
“We may not be in the capitol, but it doesn’t mean that email doesn’t work. I probably got about 75 emails to work through just from the morning,” explained Assemblyman John McDonald.
Governor Hochul on Monday issued a state of emergency encouraging state employees to work from home on Tuesday, if possible. The legislature heeded that warning.
Assemblyman John McDonald is among the lawmakers who worked remotely.
“I have a meeting with a couple different agency heads on some items in the budget. Being Chair of Government Affairs, I actually have a much more important role, so I try to get up to speed. Some constituent matters, trying to schedule some meetings for next weeks and press events,” explained McDonald.
Senator Jim Tedisco worked out of his district office and said he was taking phone calls from constituents who had problems with all the snowfall.
“You can probably guess what they were— I can’t get out of my driveway. They’ve piled the snow up 4 feet at the end of my driveway. They haven’t plowed my driveway yet,” said Tedisco. “And one lady I had to commiserate with had her mailbox destroyed by a snow plow today, that happens usually, so I’m gonna try to help her a little bit. It was a local road not a state road, so we will be in contact with her local legislators.”
Even though they are not in session, both the Senate and Assembly printed their one house budgets, detailing what they’d like to see in the final state budget due April 1st.
” I kinda look at it like your Christmas wish list, it’s a statement about your priorities,” explained McDonald. “In all fairness, the diversity of the Assembly, what’s in there may not be all the wishes of mine— it may be some of the wishes of mine, but it’s basically the legislative body saying if we could do our own budget, here is how we’d do it.
The lawmakers will be back on Wednesday and on Thursday, both the Senate and Assembly will be passing their one house budgets.