A look back at the last week of legislative session
Now that the legislative session in Albany is over, lawmakers have headed back to their districts to begin campaigning for the upcoming election. But while some issues were left on the table, others were voted on quickly as lawmakers prepared to leave town. Zack Fink has a closer look at that last week of session, including some bills which may have been voted on without much attention or even scrutiny.
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NEW YORK STATE -- In the final week of the legislative session, the focus was on teacher evaluations and what portion of them would be made public.
The last minute push by the parties to reach a deal dominated news coverage. No deal was ever reached, although the Governor's version of a compromise was ultimately passed and signed.
But in those final hours, a number of bills get voted on, including some that have a big impact, like a bill that would make kindergarten mandatory in New York City. The bill passed both the Senate and the Assembly. Council speaker Christine Quinn championed the legislation and helped find Albany sponsors.
Quinn said, "The best way to make sure children can succeed academically is to have robust, early childhood education. And five, really in some studies, they would say that's too late to even start at mandatory. But we weren't even there."
Other lesser-known bills include a ban on the sale of smokeless cigarettes known as electronic to children under the age of 18.
"The problem with electronic cigarettes is that they are totally unregulated. So we don't know what chemicals are in them. And we don't know how much nicotine is in each brand of cigarette," said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.
And finally, a bill passed increasing the tax credit for film post-production. The credit is currently 10 percent and the bill kicks it up to 30 percent. It is aimed at keeping post production work, such as film editing, here in New York.
"There is always a tension in new York between residents and film crews and how disruptive that can be. This is not intended to target that part of the business," said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick.