January is now over and February will be upon us soon. We've got a month in the books for the 2020 legislative session in Albany and the state budget dance continues.
Here are three things we learned in Albany this week.
1. Why we're leaving New York.
Two lawmakers -- a Republican and a Democrat -- want to know why people are leaving New York for other states. Some New Yorkers, especially upstate, may see the answer as an obvious one: It's the taxes, it's the politics and (maybe) it's the weather.
But Sen. Jim Tedisco and Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara want to go beyond the social media reaction and the Census numbers to find out why our outmigration has been so poor over the last decade and develop policies to address it.
2. The marijuana debate continues.
A rally was held at the Capitol to highlight the push, once again, for legalizing marijuana in the state. Meanwhile, opponents of the proposal are beginning to push back, appearing at a news conference outside of the office of Democratic Sen. Peter Harckham to oppose his newly announced support for the bill.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week, however, suggested as he did last year the bill may not get done unless it's included in a final budget agreement by the end of March.
3. Medicaid woes.
Local government officials are not happy with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan that could end what has been a freeze on local Medicaid costs. But details over how the state will plug the Medicaid gap remain... murky at best from the Cuomo administration.
Susan Arbetter on Capital Tonight gave a great explainer on how all this will work. A slight spoiler: Unlike Apollo 13, there's no duct tape available.