Last Wednesday, state lawmakers returned to Albany to for the opening day of the 2016 legislative session, the state’s 239th.    The Assembly’s Democratic leader and the Senate’s Republican leader laid out their respective agendas for the 2016 session, which will lead up to the November elections in which all 213 state legislative offices will be on the ballot.

The Governor’s State of the State Address, which has traditionally been delivered on the first day of the annual legislative session, will be combined with his budget address and delivered this coming Wednesday.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) said that the Assembly will push for a middle-class income tax cut, a tax increase on high earners, raising the minimum wage and enacting a paid family leave program.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Huntington) outlined a very different set of priorities for the Senate: increasing state aid to public schools, funding infrastructure improvements and expanding efforts to address the state’s opiate and heroin drug addiction crisis.

It isn’t going to be easy – election years in Albany never are for job creators and taxpayers – but we’ll be working to fight off some of the job-killing proposals such as a $15 per hour minimum wage and a paid family leave program that we expect to be pushed hard this coming session.