Final Day of Albany session could last several days

Marijuana remains biggest topic in Albany

Mike Baggerman
June 19, 2019 - 3:00 am

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Wednesday is the final scheduled session day in Albany in 2019, but don’t think that it means lawmakers will call it quits for the year just because time ran out in the day.

Multiple state politicians and staffers have told WBEN that they’re expecting to remain in Albany until the end of the week.

READ MORE: Still elusive on pot, NY lawmakers on final voting frenzy

“These things always have a way of bleeding over into Thursday or even Friday,” Senator Rob Ortt said and also told WBEN he’s packed for a couple extra days. “My hope is that we get out of here as soon as possible because the sooner we get out of here, the less damage we can do to the rest of New York State.”

Hundreds of last-minute bills are working its way through the ranks on a litany of issues, but the two most notable bills that are still without major happenings relates to mobile sports betting and legalization of marijuana.

Sports gambling took another step on Monday when the New York State Senate passed a bill which would allow for mobile sports betting at casinos.

“I think to do anything like this without a mobile component in 2019 is just ridiculous because you’re going to be back and reviewing it,” Ortt said. “Everything is mobile today.”

The New York State Assembly has been reluctant to bring forward the issue. Governor Andrew Cuomo argued that mobile sports betting would need an amendment in the state’s constitution, a process that could take up to three years to complete. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie reportedly agrees with the Governor, according to the New York Post.

Marijuana legalization still remains a coin-flip for 2019. The assembly continues to amend the bills association with its legalization.

Ortt believed two weeks ago that the bill would pass but pointed to the close vote in the controversial green light bill that passed as a sign that democrats won’t be able to collect enough votes on marijuana.

“You’ve already heard them talking about a plan b where they just decriminalize it,” Ortt said. “I think that’s a telling sign. Whenever you’re talking about plan b, it’s probably because plan a isn’t working out so well and you’re running out of time. When you see fallback positions publicly, that’s a sign it might not get there.”

Ortt also questions Governor Cuomo’s full commitment. Ortt said publicly he does not support its legalization in its current form.

Hear Ortt talk about other issues including the controversial Farm Fair Labor Act and the Climate Protection Act in New York State.


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