- Associated Press - Saturday, January 2, 2016

New York lawmakers will convene Wednesday to begin their 2016 session. Here’s a look at the issues they’re expected to confront before wrapping up their work in six months.

MINIMUM WAGE: Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to gradually raise the hourly wage to $15, which would be the highest state wage in the nation. But he’ll face opposition from business groups who say it will lead to higher prices, fewer jobs and failing businesses.

SCHOOLS: Public education leaders are seeking $2.4 billion in new funds for schools - an amount they say will help districts deal with a cap on local taxes. Meanwhile, charter school advocates will push for a greater share of funding.

CORRUPTION: More than 30 lawmakers have left office facing criminal charges for allegations of ethical misconduct since 2000, but lawmakers have passed few significant reforms. Following the convictions of the former leaders of the Assembly and Senate in 2015, good-government groups are proposing new caps on campaign finance and restrictions on lawmakers’ outside income.

UBER: Lawmakers are expected to debate regulations that would allow the app-based ride-hailing service to expand beyond New York City into upstate cities, but taxi companies are fighting back.

HOMELESSNESS: Cuomo is expected to propose measures to address homelessness and the need for greater affordable housing.

MIXED-MARTIAL ARTS: Expect another attempt to legalize the professional sport.

DAILY FANTASY SPORTS: Lawmakers may consider regulations - and taxes - for daily fantasy sports games after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s efforts to shut down the sites, which he says violate state law.

BUSTED PIPES: Environmental advocates and local officials say the state must make significant investments in drinking water and wastewater systems to make up for years of deterioration.

ELECTION-YEAR POLITICS: With lawmakers up for re-election in the fall - and control of the Senate once again up for grabs - look for both parties to advance legislation they believe will help them at the polls, while avoiding votes that they think could hurt.

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