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State legislators voting on remote voting

Mar 30, 2020 7:01 am
Cayla Harris reports for the Times Union that on March 29 New York's state Senate approved a resolution allowing senators to participate in sessions by "remote means." The Assembly is expected to pass a similar resolution on March 30, Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie said. The state budget is due April 1, and lawmakers are usually in the capitol late at night passing after the behind-the-scenes haggling. But four Assemblymembers have already tested positive for COVID-19, so legislators need to meet six-feet apart. “During these extraordinary circumstances, it is critical that the people’s house is able to continue to do the people’s work,” Heastie said in a press release March 29. “These changes will preserve the integrity of New York's legislative process in a way that will also protect our members, our staff, the hardworking staff of the Capitol and the families we all go home to. This is a historic step that will help save lives and support New Yorkers.” Assemblymembers are proposing allowing the chamber to temporarily vote remotely during declared states of emergency. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said budget bills are still under negotiation, but voting may begin as early as March 30. Read more about this story in the Times Union.