Good Morning from Washington, D.C….

Congressional leaders reached a deal to boost military and non-defense spending, paving the way for a comprehensive deal to fund government through the end of the fiscal year. To be clear, there is still a lot of work to do to finalize the 12 spending bills and the agreement can still fall apart at any time. In fact, the appropriators who cut the deal—Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy, Senate Ranker Richard Shelby, House Appropriations Chair Rose DeLauro, and House Ranker Kay Granger—will not even release the funding totals in the deal but it has the approval of leadership. “I am pleased that we have reached agreement on a framework, which will allow our subcommittees to get to work finalizing an omnibus,” DeLauro said, adding that appropriators will “now proceed with great intensity to enact legislation.” There is no word yet on which (or any) of the previously agreed to earmarks will make it into the final spending package.

After months of resistance, Congress also appears on the verge of an agreement to ban trading of individual stocks by Members of Congress with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joining the chorus calling for the reform. Pelosi and Democratic leaders greenlighted a plan to draft legislation last week. The House Appropriations Committee will begin drafting legislation with the goal of bringing it to a vote this year, potentially before midterm elections. In the Senate, several versions of the bill have been introducedwith the most high profile proposal from Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Steve Daines of Montana. The deal to bring legislation to the floor represents an about face for Speaker Pelosi who last December opposed a ban, saying “We’re a free market economy. [Members of Congress] should be able to participate in that.”

Back in New York State…

The budget train continues down the tracks this week with additional hearings on Mental Hygiene, TransportationEconomic Development, and Taxes. Last week, lawmakers held Joint Legislative Budget Hearings on Local GovernmentHigher Education, and Health. There was also some legislative action with the Senate Consumer Protection Committee advancing comprehensive data privacy legislation—the New York Privacy Act—and confirmations on the floor for a few of Hochul’s outstanding nominees. Governor Hochul also took action on masks, adding New York to the list of states ending their mandates.  They continue in effect in schools for the foreseeable future.

Finally, if we have said it once, we have said it a million times: ice fishing is a slippery slope to prostitution.

 NEW EPISODE!

NYS Budget: Education/Higher Education
Where’s the money going?

 

   -Jack O’Donnell   

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