Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation to extend mayoral control of New York City schools for two years.
ALBANY, NY — June 29, 2017 — The extraordinary session has concluded and I think it’s fair to say the extraordinary session was extraordinarily productive. I want to congratulate Speaker Heastie, who did a great job in my opinion and his entire conference. Also Senator Flanagan and his conference and Senator Klein and his conference. This day and a half session handled some very difficult issues, contentious issues that have proved problematic in the past. And it was comprehensive in a way that covered almost the entire state, when you look at all the initiatives that were passed. I would also like to thank my team, our Madam Secretary, Melissa DeRosa, who her first extraordinary session that she went through and I want to thank her. Budget Director Robert Mujica and Counsel Alphonso David, who did great, great work. The extraordinary sessions are difficult because they are very intense and very compressed.
But we got a phenomenal amount done very quickly. You know the items that were actually in the bill, we did a Lake Ontario package to help businesses, homeowners, and local governments. That is very important. I’ve been up there several times and that situation is difficult and long-term. It’s not like a flood where it is several days and it’s gone, this has been weeks and weeks and weeks. We also have money in the budget to purchase what are called portable dams. They are these large dams that can be filled with water and actually stop the water from coming onto property, roads, etc. so that was a very good piece of legislation in my opinion. Disability benefits for NYPD and FDNY officers in New York City also emergency workers. We have a stabilization package for Vernon Downs. Vernon Downs was a threatening close. That would be 300 jobs in a part of the state where we can’t afford to lose 300 jobs. And that allocates a sum of money and the gaming commission has the ability to work with that owner to see if they can come to an agreement to keep it open on terms that work for the state as well as for the owner.
We have the Adirondack and Catskill land bank which is very important. We have the naming of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Riverbank State Park for Assemblyman Herman Denny Ferrell, who was one of the lions of the assembly for many, many years. He was on the Banking Committee, he was Ways and Means, but he goes way back. I worked with him as a young man and he is really quite an extraordinary legislator. Also Senator Larkin we’ll do a naming for at the Purple Heart Museum that he worked on for years and is very important to him and he deserves that. And this is all in addition to what we did in the regular session where we did tremendous amount of ground breaking work. That free college program is going to change lives for young people and just imagine the difference you’re a young person now, you don’ have to worry whether or not you can go to college. It doesn’t matter if mom has a job or dad has a job or if you’re rich, you’re going be able to go to college. That will be transformative for young people. Ridesharing, 150 confirmations by the Senate, a new associate judge, Raise the Age, banning child marriage, cutting middle class taxes, CSEA agreement. So we really did a tremendous amount of work.
There was one item that I want to sign in front of you, so Ms. Emma Wolfe, Mr. Dean Fuleihan will be allowed to return to New York City which is the New York City mayoral control bill. This has been a contentious item, to use the word loosely in the past. This is an extension bill for two years. Which will give continuity to the mayor and a sense of permanence and we will not go through this exercise next year as pleasant as it was and joyful and we always love to see Emma and Dean. Good to see Dean back. He’s no stranger to the Capitol but we’ll see you in two years. And I’m sure we’ll have a chance to visit in the meantime. This was a very important bill. You’re talking about one million children. And were talking about education management of the largest education system in the state. I don’t think anyone would disagree but that the best option for New York City is mayoral control. A lot of controversy, a lot of discussion, but at the end of the day this is the best way to provide education to our children in New York City and we all talk multiple times a day about how important education is. It was critically important to extend mayoral control and to extend it for two years is a job well done by the legislature. So I am going to sign that bill. And the bill is signed, mayoral control is extended. This will get you back into New York City safely and soundly. The mayor will be happy to have your return. Not that he wouldn’t have been happy to have your return anyway. So congratulations on that.
SOURCE: New York State, Executive Chamber, Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor