Democratic Leaders May Frontload Legislative Session

The New York State Legislature is considering a change to its legislative calendar that could have a major impact on public policy.

In recent years, the state legislative session has typically run from January until mid-to-late-June. Following the passage of the annual budget at the end of March, the legislators take a break during part of the month of April before returning for the final weeks of the session.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Legislature may wrap up the session before Memorial Day. This change would allow members time to campaign for re-election prior to the newly-rescheduled June primaries. To adjust to this potential new timetable, lawmakers would likely schedule “more votes earlier in the year.”

At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we like the idea of legislators spending less time in Albany. However, we most definitely do not like the idea of more votes being held earlier in the year. In January of this year, while legislators were still getting acclimated to their new offices, the Legislature rammed the Reproductive Health [aka Abortion Expansion] Act, the Bathroom Law, and the Counselor Coercion Law through both houses. For the political left, the advantage of this approach is that it allows them to push their preferred legislation through the process before most voters have time to react to it. If the proposed schedule change becomes a reality, it will be vitally important for Christian voters to engage with their elected officials at the very beginning of each year to prevent early-session barrages of morally objectionable laws.