The Long, Dirty Debate
June 16th, 2011

So the Senate has been in session most of the day and are only standing at ease now so that the Democrats can conference–something fairly ugly took place in the chamber tonight. The debates have gone from sharp and enthusiastic to rambling and uncivil. Sure they are probably getting tuckered out with the late hours and all but don’t shed a tear quite yet.

A great deal of the legislation that has been debated in the Senate doesn’t have same-as bills in the Assembly–in other words nothing is going to come of it. And the Senate hasn’t really been up to much for most of the year. One legislator described the legislation passed most of the year as, “not life changing,” with a wry smile. Another described it as, “a waste of taxpayer money.”

If you are a glutton for punishment you can check out video of what they debated here. And if you are in the mood for some late-night debate you can watch it live here.

Legislators have been constantly reminded throughout debate today that they are on a tight schedule. Democrats seem to be asking questions to stall out the process which has driven some Republicans up the tree. Sen. Greg Ball interrupted Sen. Eric Adams to ask the status of the investigation into the Aqueduct Entertainment Group. Federal officials are supposed to be looking into the Aqueduct deal that caused quite a bit of scandal last year. Ball of course has endured a load of scandal of his own. In fact Senate Republicans used Balls’ alleged attack on his girlfriend as ammunition against him during a Republican primary last year. They really didn’t want him to win. But I digress.

Not to be a curmudgeon but the Republican Senate probably could have introduced a few of these bills earlier this year–rather than cramming everything into a week at the end of session.

According to data provided by New York Public Interest Group’s Bill Mahoney both houses agreed on fewer pieces of legislation from January to the end of May of this year since any year in recent memory. Both houses agreed on 76 bills in that time period in 2011. Some legislators point to the on-time budget and ethics deal as “quality over quantity.” And to be fair it is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s freshman year as governor–so their could be a number of factors at play. But just for numbers sake take a look of the breakdown of legislation agreed to by both houses from Jan 1st to the end of May since 1995.

2011 76
2010 150
2009 100
2008 155
2007 98
2006 135
2005 132
2004 119
2003 105
2002 123
2001 78
2000 86
1999 83
1998 104
1997 98
1996 148
1995 137

Obviously the legislature has acted on a lot of legislation in June. I will update the numbers for the entire year so far in a blog post tomorrow. The legislature will apparently have more time to work on legislation as Cuomo has pledged to hold them in Albany until they have reached a deal on rent law legislation.

By on June 16, 2011, 10:09 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “The Long, Dirty Debate”

  1. Crista Schrunk Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Good write-up. I’m a normal visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a regular visitor for a long time.

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