Thingish Things

Grown Ups Back in Albany

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 21•11

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (l.) confers with Governor Cuomo (r.) Photo by Newsday

What a difference a year makes.

Things are actually getting done in Albany, like them or not.

This legislative session is an extraordinary departure from the one we saw last year, which could be summed up in five letters, C-H-A-O-S. One could safely toss the adjective “absolute” in front of the word without being accused of hyperbole.

The tone and scene of the state capitol this time last year was so circus-like that it stopped being funny. Professional journalists paid to write about the place — who need controversy and color to make stories about mundane state government dance for their readers — seemed disconsolate, shell-shocked even. This was, after all, their state government, too, crumbling.

But the tone is strikingly different this year. It is professional again, and credit for that belongs to Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R). They are grown ups, unquestionably in charge.

Sure, there are issues still to be resolved after the official close of session — big issues — but one gets the feeling they are being honestly negotiated. As unsightly as things  may seem to some right now, sausage is again being made in the New York State capitol. Not everyone will be happy or satisfied with the results, but, barring some terrible turn of events, there will be results nonetheless.  It’s been years since we’ve seen any of those.

Dysfunctional Albany needs to be careful. Another session like this one and the place could make a bad name for itself.


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