From the Morning Memo:

The pressure on Assembly Democrats to back the education tax credit continues unabated.

The latest effort is from Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, who sent a letter to Capital Region residents calling on them to push Assemblywoman Pat Fahy on the bill.

In the letter, Scharfenberger specifically mentions Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s rebranded version of the legislation, the Parental Choice in Education Act, which is aimed at spurring donations to public schools as well as scholarship programs that benefit private and parochial schools.

“It would also help generate for important programs in our public schools in Albany, Bethlehem and Guilderland and other surrounding districts,” the bishop wrote in the letter. “as well as help teachers who spend their personal funds on classroom supplies.”

Nevertheless, the tax credit is deeply opposed by the New York State United Teachers union, which draws support from the Democratic-led conference.

But the measure’s most prominent backer, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, this year once again personally traveled to Albany to lobbying lawmakers with Cuomo at the governor’s mansion on the issue as well.

The letter comes on top of an aggressive campaigned aimed at Democratic lawmakers in the Assembly to pass the tax credit legislation, which Cuomo is linking to the passage of rent control in New York City.

Lawmakers have not been pleased with the tone of some of the mailers or the robocalls. Some of the calls, in particular, have irked members as the caller ID displays the name of the lawmaker, leading some constituents to believe they are getting inundated with unwanted calls from their local legislator.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters on Monday prior to meeting with Cuomo that the tax credit legislation remains a “difficult” bill for his conference to approve.

Bishop Letter 1 by Nick Reisman