Unfinished business frustrates state lawmakers as legislative session ends

June 20, 2018 07:00 PM

ALBANY - Lawmakers at the state Capitol have reached the finish line for the 2018 legislative session and clearly, not every lawmaker is celebrating.

"We've named a lot of bridges, we've named a lot of highways, we're doing a lot of those local bills right now, but the big stuff, the meat, the really important things that we were supposed to do didn't get done," pointed out Republican Assem. Mary Beth Walsh of Ballston.

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She isn't the only lawmaker who thinks the Legislature came up short.

Over the course of a legislative session, lawmakers can expect to consider for passage a minimum of 10,000 bills. Most of them never see the light of day on either the Assembly floor or the Senate floor. When someone's bill doesn't come up for a vote, it tends to lead to disheartenment.

The session that began in January is finished after Wednesday.

Many lawmakers expressed to NewsChannel 13 their dissatisfaction regarding the way things have turned out now that the session has run its course.

If a lawmaker can get his or her bill through the Legislature, there is reason for celebration. However, there's also plenty of frustration and that often leads to consternation.

"I don't think any of us are pleased right now, because it is always a bittersweet time of year. There are 11,000 bills pending at any given time. Most of those do not see the light of day," explained Democratic Assemblywoman Pat Fahy. "I always try to reflect on what I do get done and what I don't get done," explained Democratic Assem. Pat Fahy of Albany.

"Locally, regionally, there's some Adirondack issues that I would have liked to have seen move forward. For the life of me, I don't know why they haven't," noted Republican Assem. Dan Stec of Queensbury.

When Walsh was asked what she's most optimistic about, "I honestly can't think of anything," she responded.

If you're wondering about ethics reform, or sports betting, it looks like they'll have to wait until next year.

The Assembly members will have to face the voters this November based on accomplishments or lack thereof this Legislative session.


Dan Levy

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