For three months out of the year, the governor of New York can hold outsize influence over the budget process by virtue of how the state constitution lays out the process for a strong executive.
And Gov. Andrew Cuomo can wield that leverage like no other governor in recent history.
In theory, the post-budget portion of the session gives some of that power back to the Legislature. But in practice, it hasn’t really worked out that way.
Cuomo has once again found a way this year of regaining control over the end-of-session chaos by stoking a little chaos along the way.
He has sought to capitalize on division between lawmakers and the desire of legislative leaders to work together, as well as their eagerness to show they have support for legislation like a package of bills that would strengthen and expand rent control in the state.
Cuomo in particular since Memorial Day wrapped up has singled out the Senate Democrats over the rent debate, and pointed out the new majority conference doesn’t have the votes on issues like marijuana legalization and driver’s license access for undocumented immigrants.