ALBANY -- Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, a Kenmore Democrat, has been named as the Assembly Democrat’s representative on a state budget conference committee charged with settling remaining fiscal differences between the two houses on economic development matters.
Schimminger was bumped from the panel last year by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for failing to support the Assembly’s one-house budget resolution that the house passes each year as a largely symbolic move to highlight the Democrats’ various fiscal positions.
Last year, Schimminger said he could not support some of the major tax increases contained in the Assembly Democratic plan. Silver, in turn, said he couldn’t appoint legislators to hold fiscal talks on behalf of the Assembly Democrats if they didn’t support the Assembly Democratic plan.
This year, such major tax hikes are not envisioned. That’s because the Assembly, Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo already approved in December a $2 billion tax increase on millionaires.
That cleared Schimminger to vote yes on Monday’s Assembly Democratic budget plan. And then that cleared Silver’s way to re-appoint him the budget conference committee after his one-year absence.
The conference committee meetings – which began this morning -- are put on with some level of legislative fanfare, though major decisions are still made in secret and the real major decisions are handled by legislative leaders and the governor.
-- Tom Precious