The Legislature is out of town for the week after a month of what has morphed into political discontent and high drama surrounding the controversail law that curtails cash bail.
And while the houses of a Democratic-controlled Legislature arguing amongst themselves might be good for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to swoop in and get what he wants in the budget, the governor on Wednesday chose to re-frame the narrative surrounding the spending plan.
His message: What about my priorities?
"The times are so political and so episodic and topical is that what's happening with this budget is the elephant is being lost for the tail," Cuomo said in an interview with WAMC. "Everyone is focusing on what's happening with Medicaid and what's happening with bail reform."
Instead, there should be a broader airing of the issues in the $178 billion proposal, Cuomo said.
"It's marijuana, it's about paid sick leave, it's about a middle class tax, it's about banning fentanyl, changing our gun laws and education funding," Cuomo said. "No one is talking about anything of that."
There is an advantage to this week for Cuomo, even if Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly were not feuding with one another. They are scattered to the winds. He's able to command some attention, meanwhile, without them.
The press is chasing the shiny objects of the bail law and Medicaid, which faces a multi-billion dollar budget gap.
"They follow the band and the band is making news about Medicaid and bail reform," Cuomo said.
And he wants reporters on his trips outside of the Capitol.
"Why don't you cover me?" he said when asked about his recent lack of news conference in the ceremonial Red Room office on the second floor of the Capitol. "Why do you stay in this building all the time? Why don't you come out and see real people and real events and show up at something."