ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN/WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — While the due date for the legislative session is for next Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins said it could be a day late. She said housing continues to be a discussion and Clean Slate is in the process of being finalized. 

Advocates have been pushing for the bill for years. As it is originally written, the bill would automatically seal criminal records for some misdemeanors and felony convictions. Three years after sentencing for misdemeanors and after seven years for felonies. It would not apply to sex crimes. “We are definitely negotiating, we’re pretty close, because it was at first the time and I believe everybody kind of agreed on the time, so I do believe we’re very close,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins at a press conference on Wednesday.

But lawmakers could not give a definitive time frame for when those records would be sealed. Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said he and his conference hope the bill does not pass. “We could be open to maybe some version of the legislation, but right now clean slate … seems too expansive. And as I said, time and time again, why if you’re hiring someone to be a bus driver wouldn’t you want to know their criminal history if they have multiple DWIs?” said Barclay.

During the budget, Governor Hochul’s Housing Compact plan was tossed out. There’s discussion that lawmakers could extend an affordable housing program known as 421A. “It’s a matter of trying to do a number of things, not just one. We will continue our emphasis on building affordable housing and certainly the 421A extension would always be part of a broader conversation,” said Stewart-Cousins. There are four legislative session days scheduled for next week. We’ll keep you updated with the latest.