Cuomo issues few 'messages of necessity' this session
July 2nd, 2012
Gov. Andrew Cuomo only issued five messages of necessity this past legislative session, compared to the 29 he issued the year before and the 57 Gov. David Paterson issued in 2010. We bring you these numbers thanks to a legislative session breakdown by Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Messages of necessity can be issued by a governor to allow a bill to be voted on before it reaches its normally required three day aging period. That period is in place in some part to allow proper vetting, debate and public disclosure of legislation. However, in Albany, major legislative deals have been pushed through late at night before anyone can actually examine them thanks to messages of necessity issued by governor.
Cuomo was criticized for issuing such messages during a late-night blitzkrieg of legislation in March that saw the passage of a new pension tier, DNA database legislation and the extremely controversial district lines.
Along with the reduced number of messages of necessity was a markedly reduced number of passed pieces of legislation. There were only 571 pieces of legislation passed by both houses this legislative session — that is less than the 588 passed in 2009 when the Senate was paralyzed by a coup. It is the lowest number in recent memory. Mahoney provides numbers dating back to 1995 and this year is resoundingly the lowest.
Mahoney notes that, the report ”…does not draw conclusions on the substance of bills or a particular legislators impact, or the overall legislative output, since legislative ‘productivity’ is more complicated and subjective than simple numbers. However, we believe that these are one of the many parts of the discussion about the activity of the Legislature and individual legislators.”By David King on July 2, 2012, 11:14 am
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