2013 By The Numbers
NYPIRG has compiled its annual assessment of the 2013 legislative session, keeping in mind the fact that 1) many bills haven’t yet made it all the way through the process and are still awaiting arrival on the governor’s desk, and 2) there might be a special session before the year is out.
There’s a lot of good stuff in here, and it deserves a read when you’ve got some spare time. The overall number of bills passed by both houses increased from 2012 to 2013 – and may increase further if there’s a special – but the total of 649 bills is remarkably low by historical standards, according to NYPIRG’s analysis.
This is part of a broader trend: Since 1915, the three years that saw the fewest bills pass both houses are 2009, 2012, and 2013. (We’ll be discussing this more in depth on tonight’s CapTon with NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney).
Also, for all the grief Cuomo gets for relying on messages of necessity to rush controversial bills through the Legislature, he still has used that power far less than his predecessors did. An average of 12.3 bills per year have passed either house with a message in his tenure, compared to 41 during the Eliot Spitzer-David Paterson years, and 89.2 under former Gov. George Pataki.
Worth mentioning: More constitutional amendments received either first or second passage in both houses in 2013 than in any other year in recent history. A total of eight amendments passed the Senate and Assembly this year, six of which will appear on the ballot this fall. The other two – indpendent redistricting and the paperless Legislature – will go before the public in 2014.
When it comes to bill introduction, the IDC had the highest per-member average. (But remember, they’ve only got four members now, thanks to Sen. Malcolm Smith’s ousted following his arrest on federal corruption charges).
Sen. Marty Golden, a Brooklyn Republican passed more bills – 88 – through the Senate than any other member, while Assemblyman Sweeney Robert Sweeney had that distinction in his house, with 34 bills introduced.
Seventeen legislators introduced no bills that passed their own chambers. Four of them – William Boyland Jr. Vito Lopez, John Sampson, and Smith – spent much of the session dealing with legal difficulties, Assemblymembers Dan Losquadro, Nelson Castro and Lopez resigned mid-session (Castro and Lopez departed due to legal troubles, while Losquardo went to run the Brookhaven Town Highway Department).
And, as NYPIRG notes, Assemblymembers Inez Barron and Mickey Kearns’ calls for Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign as a result of his botched handling of the Lopez sexual harassment scandal likely did not endear them to the individuals who decide which bills make their house’s active lists.
It’s worth reading all the way to the end, where you will discover just how loquacious Sen. Liz Krueger is – she uttered 40,064 words on the floor of the Senate between the start of the session and June 18 (the last day for which data is currently available). That’s out of a total of 471,749 words. The least verbose senator was Simcha Felder, the Brooklyn Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans, who uttered just a single word. Yes, you read that right, just ONE.
Also, NYPIRG kept track of who got the most laughs during the Senate’s proceedings last year. The chamber broke down in laughter 170 times, and Deputy Republican Leader Tom Libous is apprently the funniest member of the body, as he delivered 38 laugh lines.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on June 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm, and is filed under Assembly, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|