Under the shadow of a global panemic that threatens the very lives of its citizens, New York State lawmakers this week have been voting, in the solitude of their offices, on the state budget.
"This is unimaginable. It's a surreal experience that I hope we'll never have to experience again," said Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Joseph Griffo, talking not only about the general tone of voting, but what's at stake. "In context of losing over 2300 people and 92,000 + people infected in the state of NY, there has to be a great sensitivity..." said Griffo, from Albany, Thursday.
While laboring beneath the constant threat of the pandemic, lawmakers have been taking up controversial issues, like bail reform. They say some crimes have been made 'bailable' again.
"They've added crimes alleged to have caused the death of another," said Assemblywoman, Marianne Buttenschon. "Sex trafficking the B felony and sex trafficking of a child. Money laundering."
Buttenschon says it's a good start, but not not enough, and she will vote 'no'.
"At this point I am because it doesn't include burglary, it doesn't include robbery," said the Assemblywoman.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Senate had passed the budget and the Assembly was still voting.