Ten session days are technically left on the legislative calendar, but there has been no announcement on when lawmakers plan to return, virtually or otherwise.
A group of lawmakers and Common Cause New York held a press conference on Thursday urging legislative leaders to resume session remotely "as soon as possible."
"My colleagues and I are working nonstop on the ground to ensure that our constituents have the resources they need to survive, but that is only one piece of the puzzle," State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi said. "We must also provide systemic relief and long-term solutions for New Yorkers during this time of great need, and that requires legislation. There are a number of urgent bills that can help our communities … It is our job as public servants to fight for the rights and safety of the people we represent. We must let the legislators legislate."
Lawmakers wrapped up the state budget mostly remotely at the beginning of April. There was a scheduled two week "spring break," but legislators were slated to return on April 20.
Major budget cuts will most likely be announced in the next two weeks, due to a massive $10 billion to $15 billion budget deficit.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will have control over these cuts, but the Legislature does have the option to come back and make changes if they choose.
There are also multiple COVID-19 related bills lawmakers have been introducing this past month to help their communities battle the virus. However, with the state broke that comes with its own challenges. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins this week told Spectrum News' Susan Arbetter, there is still a lot left lawmakers want to address before the legislative year is over.
But the time to go back is growing shorter, unless lawmakers want to continue session into June, cutting into time before the June 23 primary.
"New York lawmakers haven't passed legislation, or even held a hearing, since voting on the state budget in March," Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause NY said. "Meanwhile Governor Cuomo has ruled by executive order, changing 262 laws in 55 days. Public service is a matter of moral leadership, and New Yorkers need our elected legislators to step up and do their jobs, legislate remotely.”