With the migrant crisis affecting the city and increasingly the state, the Legislature must return to Albany for a special session.
No, Gov. Kathy Hochul hasn’t called for it yet: Legislative leaders have publicly opposed any return for the past few weeks, and of course she’s aware of the risk of lawmakers making things happen worse.
But she recently warned that the influx comes at a cost Condition $4.5 billion more than expected next year.
This is on top of a $9 million gap already looming.
The Empire Center warns that the state’s migrant-adapted red ink could ramp up $15 Billion.
And, of course, the city is anticipating a $12 billion hit of its own.
In addition, six members of the New York Republican Convention pointed out in their letter demanding special action that the MTA (a state agency, see recall) has already spent over $2.3 billion on services to migrants – when their finances were already down.
That’s what government and lawmakers should at least look at cancellation Now planned expenses before they walk out the door.
If a program cannot be sustained in the coming fiscal crisis, perhaps shut it down now.
Alternatively, it may make sense to do so transfer Funds to agencies suddenly on the front lines, taking care of more than 100,000 migrants (and thousands more every week for the foreseeable future).
You might even bring some extra money to New York City, the local epicenter of the crisis.
Or at least strengthen the government’s ability to authorize the use of state facilities in the city for emergency shelters.
And perhaps try to sort out the legal issues that are leading to City Hall and several upstate counties fighting in court battles over the resettlement of some migrants outside of the five counties.
A Manhattan judge ordered the cases to be delegated to the individual counties rather than decided in a Big Apple courtroom.
Perhaps a bipartisan law that clearly sets out fair rules could avoid months of litigation and uncertainty?
Oh yes, and pure The Emergency, Let’s Minimize Corruption and Waste: Legislators should restore state comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s pre-audit authority on over $1 million in state contracts.
Maybe that’s kosher — but some of their no-tender COVID contracts sure stank.
And, of course, she has taken on new emergency powers for the refugee crisis.
On the other hand, the government must also ensure that the legislature stays on course: it must stay firmly opposed to the progressives’ push for a costly, state-funded health plan for over 240,000 undocumented immigrants.
Of course, while they’re back, lawmakers could focus on other pressing issues, like solving the criminal justice system, the nationwide housing crisis, and the fact that New York’s legal cannabis launch is going up in smoke.
As we’ve noted, these officers have grown to become the highest-paid state legislators in the country: $142,000 base salary if they’re only in office half the year.
With greater rewards should come greater responsibility.
This is a crisis; Get back to work: New York’s future is at stake.