Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, is explaining why she now feels differently about undocumented immigrants. Hochul, the former Erie County clerk, once wanted to turn immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally over to federal authorities.
Hochul has been meeting privately with key Latino leaders since her nomination in May. She says it was a different time and place back in 2006, when she was Erie County clerk and opposed to then Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to issue drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Now that the major political party conventions are over, state officials are shifting their focus back to the remaining issues in the legislative session, which ends in four weeks. But politics are still front and center in the session's waning days.
The spotlight will continue to be on Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the final weeks of the session, and whether he achieves the three major items he laid out in his acceptance speech to delegates at the party convention.
“We must pass a Women’s Equality Act, public finance, and a Dream Act,” Cuomo told a cheering crowd. “And we will!”
There’s about two months left in the legislative session and a number of issues are still left on the agenda. But it’s uncertain how many of them will actually become law.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s failed to achieve a number of progressive items over the last two years, including public campaign finance reform and a Women’s Equality Act, told the Democratic Rural Conference that he’ll try to get them passed in the state legislature in the next eight weeks, before the session ends in June.
The Dream Act is dead for now in New York state, after the state Senate voted down the measure that would have granted college tuition aid to the children of undocumented immigrants. The 30 to 29 vote defeating the Dream Act left leaders of rival Democratic factions pointing fingers.
Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein , who is in a ruling coalition with the Republicans, says he’s disappointed that two Democrats joined the GOP to vote no on the bill to allow tuition aid for children of undocumented immigrants.
Assembly Democrats passed a one-house version of the Dream Act, a bill to give college aid to the children of undocumented immigrants, and urged the Senate to follow suit.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who calls the Dream Act a top priority, blamed opposition among Senate Republicans for the measure’s failure to advance in the upper chamber. And he says the breakaway Independent Democrats in the Senate, who are in a coalition government with the GOP, need to work to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.