I'm from Albany. I've never been to Israel. But I'd be willing to bet that going straight from Israel to Albany is going to make you appreciate Israel a lot more.
The Legislature's near-certain return to action for a special session is going to be very difficult for a handful of elected officials who are in Israel this week.
Bronx/Manhattan state Senator Adriano Espaillat and Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro are two of 18 lawmakers from America, Chile and Uruguay who are currently visiting the Middle East nation, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League.
But the governor is about ready to call a special session to have the elected officials vote on a budget that will hopefully fix a rising deficit.
Espaillat spokesman Ibrahim Khan said the state senator will be back Wednesday night and could be in Albany Thursday if need be.
The Daily News has the full saga:
During their eight-day trip the lawmakers are visiting “places of religious, political and historical importance and meeting with Palestinians, Arab Israelis, Bedouins, Holocaust survivors, members of the Knesset, the Supreme Court and representatives from the Israeli government and civil society,” according to a press release from the ADL.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who was not on the tour and is on his way up to Albany today, is a bit upset at the lack of clarity over the past week.
"They need to give us a little notice," he said. "It's a little ridiculous. People have plans."
Dinowitz highlighted Espaillat's trip (they share a bit of Riverdale), saying that it could "easily cost $1,000 to change that flight," and it would come out of Espaillat's own pocket.
Quickly checking Expedia, one-way flights from Israel to the NYC area range from $662 to $4,950, with many around the $1,000-$2,000 range.
There's at least one assembly member won't be ending his in-country vacation short for the special session.
Related side note: the Riverdale Review will hopefully have a story about Espaillat's trip in the Dec. 15 issue.