State lawmakers are working harder than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday, while he took a wait-and-see approach on a potential post-budget session that will most likely be conducted remotely.
The legislature has not convened since April 3, when the state budget was approved.
But lawmakers, Cuomo said, are working hard outside of the Capitol on constituent needs that have arisen during the crisis.
"I understand the legislators have been working very hard," Cuomo said during his daily news conference. "The people think they're not in Albany, they're not working. No, they're working. I think they're working harder than they've ever worked, by the way. The demands in the districts are very high."
Cuomo has largely been the statewide public face of the pandemic, signing executive orders that have handled virtually every aspect of the virus.
Some lawmakers have expressed concern about having more say over the state's response. The good-government group Common Cause this week said lawmakers should halve their pay for not being in Albany during the crisis -- a proposal that was sharply rebuked by lawmakers.
The legislature itself has held two public hearings this month on small businesses and how the pandemic has impacted people of color.
A package of COVID-related measures could be considered in a potential session next week, with lawmakers casting remote votes.
"Whatever they plan to do," Cuomo said, "we'll talk about."