Well folks, here we are, March 2010. March should be a busy month at the Capitol with members and staff working - sometimes around the clock - to create a budget. Now, I know that other things happen while the budget is being fashioned, but it seems to me that in these very difficult times, more attention than ever should be dedicated to crafting a responsible, transparent and on-time budget.
The economy should be our first, second and third priority as legislators. Last week, with those thoughts firmly in mind, I headed off to my first of the year Economic Development Committee meeting. I was looking forward to the meeting as I was sure that the agenda would be loaded with bills designed to help our struggling small businesses and have ideas that would help put the hundreds of thousands of unemployed New Yorkers back to work.
To say that the meeting did not meet my expectations would be the understatement of the year. Instead of addressing any one of the colossal issues facing the jobless of our great state, the committee spent its time discussing whether or not live fish should be used in pedicure procedures. I am not making this up. Apparently, the fish eat the dead skin off of feet. Look at Assembly bill 9202 if you don’t believe me.
The state is on the brink of economic collapse and the big debate at the first Economic Development Committee meeting of the year centered around whether we should ban using fish as exfoliating agents. While we are still without a state budget, do you think this is the kind of stuff that should be a priority in the first Economic Development Committee meeting? And should there be a ban on this procedure?