ALBANY -- It was, by Capitol standards, a curious sight: at 2:30 this afternoon: not a single registered lobbyist could be spotted in the main hallways just outside the Senate and Assembly chambers as lawmakers were deliberating a new state budget.
With the budget adoption on cruise control inside the two houses and completion of a high-fives press conference by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders, lobbyists knew the fiscal game was over.
In past years, the hunt by lobbyists looking to kill a budget provision, or get one last spending or tax item quietly inserted into the budget, became an art form. But with this year's three-day aging process of the budget bills, those attempts came to a crashing end earlier this week.
-- Tom Precious