Session goes into overtime in Albany

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ALBANY, NY (WENY)– New York State lawmakers convened session around 2 a.m. last night. Friday, they continue into overtime–voting and debating bills they didn’t get to last night. 

Some of the biggest bill items voted and debated on include the Clean Slate Act, a bill that would provide for the automatic sealing of certain conviction records after a certain amount of time.

The Assembly passed the Clean Slate Act around 5 p.m. The Senate will likely be taking debating the bill late into Friday evening.

Some lawmakers said this legislation is important criminal justice reform. While other lawmakers said they have concerns about automatic sealing.

Governor Kathy Hochul said earlier this week she would like to see a version of the Clean Slate Act cross the finish line. She also said she was hoping for affordable housing policy.

Thursday legislative leaders announced policy around rent protection and affordable housing programs is not going to happen this year. But Hochul said it is an issue she is dedicated to working on outside of session.

“We have a lot of good ideas, important ideas that need to be implemented because we have a housing crisis as we speak and to do nothing in the long term is not an answer,” she said. 

Lawmakers also took up a bill that would authorize the Governor to sign the final gaming compact agreement between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the state. This compact allows Seneca Nation to operate their three casinos. 

The bill passed in the Senate. The Assembly will likely debate and vote on this bill into the early hours of Saturday morning. 

Early Friday morning lawmakers passed one of their biggest bills, carried by legislative leaders, relating to the presidential primaries. 

The bill intends to schedule the presidential primary election for April 2, 2024. It also has several provisions related to curable ballots, absentee ballots, and recounts.

The Senate and the Assembly intend to continue voting on bills late into the Friday evening and possibly into the early hours of Saturday morning. 

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