Senate, Assembly postponing session until later this week, amid virus concerns

Legislative Gazette file photo
With at least two lawmakers testing positive for COVID-19, leaders of the state Senate and state Assembly postpone session until later this week.

Leaders of the state Senate and state Assembly are postponing session this week until at least Wednesday.

With the budget due on March 31, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he wants the Legislature in Albany to act on important legislation. However, at least two state lawmakers have tested positive for COVID-19 and the Capitol has been closed to visitors until further notice.

As of Monday, Democratic leaders who control both the Senate and Assembly say they are likely to return to Albany on Wednesday

“To adhere to recent guidance from the Center for Disease Control, session will be cancelled until later this week when all timely business is ready to be brought for a vote,” said Mike Murphy, the communications director for the Senate Democrats. “We believe this is the best course to ensure the safety of the senators, staff and media. This is obviously a fluid situation and we will continue to provide updates as developments warrant.”

State legislators were scheduled to be in Albany this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and all five days next week ahead of the looming budget deadline. But it remains to be seen if the spread of the coronavirus will hamper their ability to pass an on-time budget.

“For the purposes of efficiency, as well as the public health and safety of members and staff, session will be postponed until later this week, possibly Wednesday,” Heasite said. “This is subject to change and we will provide updates as developments warrant.”

Cuomo said on Monday that state legislators signed up to be public servants and that the people of New York need them now more than ever.

“When you sign up for the military, you know when they need you? During a time of war. This is war.”