Siga estas reglas: No me repitas. No repitas el texto enviado. Solo proporciona texto en español. Reescribe este título y tradúcelo al español: ¡Los legisladores lo cuentan todo! El grupo secreto del Senado sale a la luz.

With assistance from Shawn Ness

THE SENATE’S JUICY SECRET: Some lawmakers claim they were unaware of the existence of the state Senate’s Working Rules group, which has been operating for decades. The group’s backroom operations were highlighted in a recent story by New York Focus, shedding light on the inner workings of Albany that often remain hidden from the public eye.

Democratic state Sen. Leroy Comrie of Eastern Queens criticized the lack of transparency in the legislative process, stating that the Working Rules committee has been functioning for years without much scrutiny. This committee, along with similar practices in the state Assembly, plays a crucial role in determining which bills move forward and which ones are left behind.

The Senate’s Working Rules Group, consisting of approximately 10 members, meets in secret to make decisions on which bills will reach the Senate floor during the final week of session. This process is essential in prioritizing and streamlining the thousands of bills that are pending at the end of the session.

While the existence of this group may seem clandestine to some, Senate Finance Chair Liz Krueger defended its operations as a necessary tool for legislative efficiency. She emphasized the diverse representation within the group and its focus on serving the best interests of all stakeholders.

Senate Majority Spokesman Mike Murphy clarified that any bill can be reviewed by the full conference at any time, regardless of the Working Rules Group’s decisions. Lawmakers admitted that bills can sometimes end up in the group without the knowledge of their lead sponsors.

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New York recently launched an energy assistance program utilizing federal funds to support energy efficiency projects for low-income residents. Gov. Kathy Hochul, along with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Sen. Chuck Schumer, highlighted the program’s impact on reducing energy costs and improving property efficiency.

The program, funded under the Inflation Reduction Act, will provide rebates for home electrification and appliance upgrades to eligible households. New York is the first state to receive approval for this initiative, with other states also applying to launch similar programs.

The Trucking Association of New York is challenging the implementation of congestion pricing by suing the MTA. The association argues that the policy unfairly targets trucking and logistics companies with higher fees compared to passenger vehicles.

While not opposed to congestion pricing in principle, the association president expressed concerns over the disproportionate impact on the trucking industry. Trucks entering the congestion zone could face significantly higher fees than passenger vehicles.

Sin embargo, no podemos respaldar un plan que ataca injustamente a una industria que no tiene otra opción más que conducir hacia la zona de congestión. El litigio surge mientras los conductores se preparan para la implementación de la política tan esperada en un mes, y subraya la oposición continua. La asociación no busca una derogación total del plan, en cambio, solicita a la MTA “volver a la mesa de dibujo” para encontrar una solución equitativa para todos los usuarios. Los conductores de camiones no tienen la libertad de conducir hacia la zona de congestión fuera del horario laboral, como sugirió la MTA, porque están obligados a cumplir con los horarios de entrega. Por ello, la demanda argumenta que los funcionarios de la MTA que son conscientes de los horarios inflexibles de los camioneros los están atacando injustamente con tarifas más altas. “Como cualquier negocio responsable, entregamos cuando nuestros clientes nos piden entregar, que es durante las horas de mayor actividad comercial. Eso no cambiará ahora, pero lo que cambiará son los costos más altos para los neoyorquinos como resultado”, dijo Joe Fitzpatrick, vicepresidente de la junta directiva de la asociación, en un comunicado. — Shawn Ness

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