Lawmakers

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan speaks in the Senate Chamber in Albany in January.

Associated Press

A special legislative session could be held soon in Albany to help people recover from spring flooding along Lake Ontario. It would be a good move, so it needs to be approached with no stings attached.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he supports holding a special session to approve more financial aid for businesses and homeowners who suffered losses from flooding. Applications for help have already exceeded the $45 million in aid approved by the state in July.

The problem may be that Cuomo is also seeking agreement on an agenda for the session and has said he'd like to see action on extending a health insurance program, among other things. The other legislative leaders surely have priorities of their own.

It's important to act soon on flood aid, because people will otherwise have to wait for that to be approved along with the next state budget. And because it's something that nobody in Albany should have any qualms about doing, it needs to be passed on its own merits rather than tied to a larger horse-trading agreement.

During the session, people are of course welcome to bring up other business, but the flooding money needs to discussed as a standalone issue, not tied to any unrelated legislation.

Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie should agree to help people recover from flooding. And it makes good sense to do it now rather than force people to wait for the next state budget to be finalized.

Failing to meet on a flooding bill because of a lack of agreement on other issues would be a slap in the face to property owners in need of urgent assistance.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.

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