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That transparency thing in Albany

ALBANY - Say you are a lawmaker -- or even a member of the public -- and you want to see the actual tax package agreement affecting millions of New Yorkers or maybe even some of the details on a plan to spend $1 billion on infrastructure projects.

And let's say in less than an hour both houses are scheduled to gavel into special session to begin taking up the bills.

Might it be unreasonable, by now, to have the actual bills in hand to maybe look at, much less really study?

Well, of course, the answer is yes, at least in Albany, where some things never change.

As for today's schedule, both houses are scheduled to go into special session at noon to take up the tax hike-and-cut package and other deals announced via press release yesterday. The Senate, at least, then plans to immediately break and discuss the whole thing in separate GOP and Democratic closed-door conferences. Presumably by then lawmakers -- not all of whom make it a habit to go over the fine details of legislation they vote on -- will have the bills in hand if they want to check out the provisions.

In the Assembly, Democrats already conferenced the issues yesterday, though, again, actual bills were no where to be seen. Once it hits the floor, Assembly Republicans, concerned about the tax hike portion of the plan, might have a thing or two to say on the topic -- one in which they played no role during the past couple weeks of closed-door talks.

--- Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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