What a month we had this week. Certainly a lot of the attention was focused on Washington and Iowa (and rightly so), but New York state government, of course, continued to make news.
Here are four things we learned this week in Albany.
1. The laws of unintended consequences.
The Democratic-led Legislature last year approved two laws that have had lasting aftershocks and consequences that supporters did not necessarily intend or expect to have happen.
Ending cash bail continued to be the dominant issue at the Capitol for advocates, law enforcement and lawmakers who are working their way toward a solution, or in the case of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, standing against any changes.
Meanwhile, the law allowing undocumented immigrants to access and obtain driver's licenses in the state has led the federal government to freeze registration in "trusted traveler" programs for New Yorkers. At issue is the provision in the law that bars immigration enforcement officials from obtaining DMV records.
Attorney General Letitia James is suing over the freeze.
2. Stefanik's star rises.
Rep. Elise Stefanik was among the Republican members of Congress President Trump singled out for praise after he was acquitted in his impeachment trial.
Stefanik has emerged as a vocal and prominent supporter of the president amid the impeachment process. She faces Democratic challenger Tedra Cobb again in 2020. Her North Country House seat is considered a largely safe Republican district.
3. Medicaid Redesign is back!
OK, it's probably a little hard to get jazzed up about a group of hospital executives and health care unions getting into a room and determining how to find $2.5 billion in savings for the Medicaid program.
But the panel is being closely watched in Albany as the state works to close a $6.1 billion budget gap. Gov. Cuomo has said the panel is meant to find ways of slowing the growth of spending, not finding cuts to the program.
Health care spending is a big deal New York and it's also politicaly fraught. Unions, insurance companies, hospital groups -- all carry a lot of weight at the Capitol.
4. Bloomberg's campaign in New York.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have been smart to stay out of Iowa. He's rolling out a $1 billion campaign -- and he's gaining support from New Yorkers like Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.
Thursday was the deadline for the presidential candidates to file for New York's April 28th primary. The campaign of Bernie Sanders, for instance, held an impromptu rally when his petition signatures were submitted. The major candidates did -- a sign that all are gambling on the primary still lasting that long into April and the process will continue to play itself out.