• Good or Bad? Albany Passes Fewest Bills in Almost a Century


  • 2012 Session Results in Six-Times as Many Resolutions as Bills

  • The New York State Legislature passed only 571 bills this year, the lowest amount they’ve passed in 98 years...

    ...Although many may chalk up this legislative inaction to partisan bickering, it's important to note that 57% of the bills passed were passed unanimously. Unfortunately, the majority of these bills tackled only minor issues.

    Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group points out on nynow.org that lawmakers did not approve a number of environmental measures that his group was pressing. In addition, neither the governor nor lawmakers addressed campaign finance reform with legislation, even though Governor Cuomo listed it as a priority in his State of the State message.

    What was addressed was honor. The 2012 session resulted in more than six-times as many resolutions as bills. Resolutions typically honor a person or group and Albany passed a whopping 3600+ of them in this session, including 333 honoring the Boy Scouts, 130 honoring the Girl Scouts, and 9 honoring the Mets. And yes -- lawmakers receive food and lodging expenses every day that they are in Albany.

    There's still a chance for lawmakers to improve their stats for the year. Most legislators expect to be back after the fall elections. In fact, retiring Assemblyman Daniel Burling, R-Warsaw, Wyoming County, received applause on the Assembly floor in June when he gave his farewell speech and said, “Certainly the people of New York state are well served, and I will be back (after election day) to vote for your pay raise.” Make that 572 bills passed in 2012.

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