As suspected, the budget passed without early voting, ethics, or really any of the reforms we'd hoped for. Although we are disappointed, we will still be working on a number of election and ethics reforms during the final three months of session.
The Legislature doesn't return to Albany until April 16th. We are using this break time to strategize next steps with our coalition partners and prepare for our lobby day on April 24th. If you haven't done so already, sign up using the link below!
If you're interested on what was left out of the budget, check out the articles below.
IDC Reunites with Senate Democrats
Even though the Legislature is on break, there was huge news this week regarding the State Senate. On Wednesday, the Governor, Senate Democratic Leader, and Leader of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), announced that the IDC would be re-joining mainline Democrats. For those who do not know about the IDC, it is essentially a "break away" conference of 8 Democratic members of the Senate. Although these members are Democrats in name, they conference with the Republicans. This has helped the Senate Republicans hold onto their slim majority over the last seven years and made it extremely difficult for Democrats in the Senate to move their reforms.
This reunification is welcome news but with 2 vacant Senate seats, and Senator Felder (D) continuing to vote down many progressive reforms, time will tell as to whether or not this reunification is enough to pass the many progressive reforms we have worked on. The IDC said they do not plan to actually reunite until after the Special Election on April 24th.
In this issue I've included several articles in the "News" section that explain the IDC and what the reunification means going forward.