Christmas Tree Debate In Senate. Seriously.
May 16th, 2011
The Senate, with only weeks left to deal with ethics reform, redistricting reform, same-sex marriage, rent law renewal and a slew of other heated issues decided to take a detour. They decided to debate the display of “fresh-cut evergreens” in public buildings. No I am not kidding.
Although the Empire State Plaza remained closed this winter–the ice skating rink shuttered, and make shift gates around the entrances because the state couldn’t afford to staff the area–the Republican controlled Senate decided it was important to introduce a bill that would allow the display of Christmas trees in public offices and government buildings.
Sen. Liz Krueger said she was concerned about the safety of displaying trees with lights on them. Sen. John DeFrancisco argued that Krueger was only concerned because of the connotations of evergreen trees displayed during the holidays. Krueger denied this
Sen. Daniel Squadron asks if DeFrancisco would support bill if it only allowed Christmas trees. DeFrancisco responded that Squadron’s question was, “the most asinine,” question he ever received during his time in the legislature.
Sen. Neil Breslin rose to ask for “decorum.” In other words he was scolding DeFrancisco for getting nasty.
Squadron countered by bringing up the fact that the memo circulated with the legislation referred to the the display of “Christmas trees” and was not put forward as a non-secular way to celebrate holidays.
Finally the bills sponsor–Sen. Michael Nozzolio rose to state that the Supreme Court allows for the display of Christmas trees during the holidays in public buildings.
The bill passed with Sens. Liz Krueger, Carl Krueger and Daniel Squadron as the only no votes.By David King on May 16, 2011, 4:39 pm
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