From the Morning Memo:

Now that everyone has had a chance to actually read the fine print of the budget that was rushed into law last week, some details are emerging of what made the cut and what did not.

It turns out that somewhere along the line, the $1 million the governor included in his executive spending proposal to establish a commission to consider the possibility of, and plan for, a state constitutional convention fell off the negotiating table.

That’s not terribly surprising. Even though the governor, like his father before him, professes to be a big con-con backer, there weren’t many majority conference members in either the Senate or the Assembly who expressed much interest in the issue.

Nevertheless, convention advocates like my father, Prof. Jerry Benjamin, a state government expert and head of The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz, were pretty upset about the Legislature’s decision to axe the $1 million.

“It’s really classic,” my dad fumed to me during a brief telephone interview yesterday. “They’ll block preparation and then say we’re not prepared.”

“(Legislators) know they’re at risk because the Trump-Sanders phenomenon is a protest movement, and if New Yorkers catch on to the fact that there’s a vehicle for protest that could effect real change, they’re in trouble,” Dad continued. “I intend to make sure people know about this.”

A number of good government advocates endorsed the commission, saying its work would be crucial to making sure a convention – should one be held – would be as independent as possible. The absence of any independent planning would draw out the process and increase the chances of it being influenced by special interests.

But the Legislature was unmoved by that argument.

Mike Whyland, a spokesman for the Assembly Democrats, said there was “really no structure” around the governor’s commission proposal, adding: “So, as defined in our one-house budget we thought a better use of the funding would be for the Women’s Suffrage Commemoration Commission.”

Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif concurred that the executive failed to provide “enough details” about how the $1 million would be spent for the majority to go along with Cuomo’s plan, and he didn’t sound terribly enthusiastic about the idea of a convention, generally speaking.

“I would note that even in the absence of a commission and/or a convention the state has been able to amend the constitution a number of times in recent years, and we will continue to do so as necessary,” Reif said.

So, now it’s up to the governor to decide whether he’s interested in coming up with the cash on his own to prep for a convention to be ready in case the voters decide in the November 2017 elections that they do indeed want to see one held.

Technically speaking, the Legislature could call a convention any time it wanted. But the question about whether to hold one is constitutionally mandated to go before the voters every 20 years.

Since the first constitution was inked 1777, New York has significantly rewritten it on only eight occasions. Voters turned down a convention in 1957, 1977, and again in 1997.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the governor continues to support a constitutional convention and is ” examining all options and resources available to form and fund a commission.”

He noted that former Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1993 used an executive order to form a similar commission, referred to as the Goldmark Commission, which was funded through a partnership with Rockefeller College.