Galef, Bonacic Move to Make a Two-Year Legislative Calendar

March 3, 2008
Senator John Bonacic and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef said the legislation they have sponsored, which would create a continuity of the legislative session from the first year through the end of the second year, is constantly growing in support.

“We spend so much time at the beginning of the second session year passing bills that had already been passed, most with wide margins that make it unnecessary to pass them again in January and February,” Assemblywoman Sandy Galef said. “New Yorkers are looking to see things get done in Albany, and forcing bills back through the process again when there is no need slows everyone down. Our time would be much better spent discussing new bills and bringing those to the floor for a vote.”

Senator John Bonacic said, “The Legislature passes far too many ‘one house’ bills that do not produce the results New Yorkers need. One house bills are little more than ‘make-work’ designed to show activity when nothing is really happening. This legislation makes government more efficient and less costly.”

The legislation, S.4514/A.6205, would allow bills that have already passed one house, to remain in the other house for consideration and action. In addition, it would keep bills that had already passed through a standing committee to continue on the bill calendar and not get sent back to the standing committee. The exception would be if the bill was amended and needed to repeat the legislative process.

The bill calendars for Wednesday, January 23, 2008, show exactly why the Bonacic/Galef bill is so necessary. There were 581 bills on the Assembly calendar, and out of those 90% had already been voted on and passed in 2007, and had no new amendments that would require a new vote. S.4514/ A.6205 would keep those 90% of the bills already passed active in the Senate.

The bill calendar for Wednesday, January 23, 2008 in the Senate also had similar results with the 62 bills on the calendar. Senate colleagues voted on 58% of bills that had already been passed last year. Therefore it was unnecessary that these same bills had to be passed again.

Assemblywoman Galef concluded, “This two year session bill would increase the productivity in both houses, ensuring that in the future, legislators can come back to Albany at the beginning of the second year and start voting on new bills and issues that are vital to this state.”

For your reference, these are the sponsors of the bill currently:

Senate: BONACIC, DeFRANCISCO, LANZA, RATH, TRUNZO, WINNER

Assembly: GALEF, DINOWITZ, ORTIZ, ALESSI, BRADLEY, PAULIN, SCHROEDER, CAHILL, FIELDS, LUPARDO, WEISENBERG, MAISEL, CLARK, RAIA, HAWLEY, BARCLAY, SPANO, JAFFEE, LAVINE, MAGNARELLI, KAVANAGH, GIGLIO, CAMARA, CHRISTENSEN, GUNTHER, DELMONTE, KELLNER, MILLMAN, STIRPE, CUSICK; M-S: Bacalles, Boyland, Burling, Calhoun, Cole, Colton, Crouch, R. Diaz, Duprey, Errigo, Finch, Fitzpatrick, Gabryszak, D. Gordon, Hayes, Hikind, Hyer-Spencer, Jeffries, John, Kirwan, Kolb, Koon, Lancman, Mayersohn, McDonough, McKevitt, Miller, Molinaro, Peoples, Perry, Pheffer, Quinn, Reilich, Rosenthal, Saladino, Sayward, Scozzafava, Seminerio, Sweeney, Tedisco, Thiele, Towns, Townsend, Walker, Wright, Young, K. Zebrowski