One of the more spirited and testy debates in the Senate this month hasn’t been over gay marriage, or an ethics bill or an even a revised property tax cap measure.

No, the Senate just completed a debate on whether public buildings should be allowed to display fresh-cut evergreen trees.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County, would exempt certain fire codes, allowing the trees to be displayed.

The measure was opposed by Democratic Sens. Dan Squadron, Liz Krueger and Carl Kruger (marking the first time Krueger and Kruger may agreed on anything).

The bill passed 56-3, but not before Squadron and Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, traded barbs.

The Democrats’ chief concern seemed to breakdown on concerns that the bill was only meant for Christmas trees or that fresh-cut trees would be a hazard (I’m assuming the executive mansion has fresh-cut evergreen trees on display each December. If not, someone put an end to it).

At one point, Squadron asked DeFrancisco if the bill would only pertain to Christmas trees. The reaction from DeFran was quick: “That was the most asinine question I’ve heard since I’ve been on the Senate floor.”

That prompted Sen. Neil Breslin, D-Albany, to call for civility in the debate.

“OK,” DeFrancisco conceded. “It wasn’t the most asinine question I’ve ever heard.”

Earlier, he had asked Krueger if she would be against different types of bushes in government buildings.

“Would I have a problem with any type of shrubbery in government buildings?” she asked in response.

Breslin: Remain civil on the floor