The SOLE Act Could Be The Most Significant Piece Of Legislation In Our Lifetime

Legislative Column from Assemblyman Mark Johns (R,C-Webster)
May 9, 2012

Several weeks ago, I introduced legislation designed to change the way we do business in Albany. The Sensible Opportunity for Legislative Equality – or SOLE – Act would allow each member of the New York State Assembly and Senate to choose one bill of statewide significance to be sent to the floor for an up-or-down vote during their two-year term.

Every two years, the Senate and Assembly introduce more than 10,000 pieces of legislation and only a slim number get voted on and signed into law. The SOLE Act would allow all legislators, regardless of party affiliation, the chance to rightfully serve their constituents and communities. That’s just over 200 bills to be voted on. It is real reform without influence from the powerful special interest groups in Albany that try to sabotage and interfere with altruistic government efforts and reforms.

The SOLE Act is common-sense legislation that allows us to vote on issues like term limits and campaign finance reform. And not every issue that comes up to the floor has to pass. Thousands of bills are bottled up in committees each legislative session. This system makes it difficult for people to know what issues are being brought up in the legislature, which I find almost criminal.

I was elected to bring reform to Albany – but the Assembly Majority’s old way of doing things is not working. The residents and businesses of the 135th Assembly District and all of New York State need bold ideas like this to get our great state back on track.

The SOLE Act already has a companion bill in the State Senate and has been replicated in other communities. I am calling on the Assembly Majority and Speaker Sheldon Silver to lead the way and bring this legislation to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

The SOLE Act could be the most significant piece of legislation in our lifetime.