Tuesday, February 05, 2013

No More Midnight Bills - Lalor to Cosponsor Governmental Transparency Act

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor 

For Immediate Release

February 5, 2012

Contact
Chris Covucci
(845) 309-2654

No More Midnight Bills - Lalor to Cosponsor Governmental Transparency Act

Albany, New York: 
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I - Fishkill) announced today that he will be cosponsoring the NYS Governmental Transparency Act.  The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, is a response to Governor Cuomo's repeated abuse of the system to rush bills through the legislature, often in the middle of the night.

"Nothing good happens after midnight in Albany," said Lalor.  "There is no need to pass legislation in the dark of night.  When legislators are literally hiding the process from the light of day, they are up to no good.  Every debate, every bill and every vote needs to see the light of day.  This bill will prevent the governor and his friends in the legislature from ramming laws through while New Yorkers sleep."

In the past two years Cuomo has repeatedly circumvented the constitutional requirement that the legislature wait three days after a bill is drafted before a vote.  The governor has abused his ability to issue "messages of necessity" when an emergency requires the legislature to vote sooner by stretching the definition of an emergency beyond its limit.  The governor has then proceeded to rush significant bills through the legislature in the middle of the night.  The proposed law would stop the clock on all legislative  proceedings between midnight and 8 a.m except in the case of genuine emergencies.  A two-thirds majority of the legislature would be needed to determine that an emergency existed and that the rule could be waived.  The governor's abuse of messages of necessity would also be reined in with a requirement that two thirds of the legislature agree that an emergency exists.

Lalor continued, "Governor Cuomo has made a habit of rushing major legislation through in the middle of the night.  It's a bad habit that often leads to bad laws.  The flawed and unconstitutional midnight gun bill is just the most recent example.  Last year, bills covering redistricting, casinos, pension reform and teacher evaluation were all passed in the cover of darkness.  Sunlight is good for government, good for policy, and good for democracy."

"The state constitution mandates that the legislature take three days to review a bill for a reason.  Voters and legislators need the chance to read a bill before a vote.  Governor Cuomo has set a bad precedent with his abuse of messages of necessity.  This legislation will force future governors to respect transparency in government. " 

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Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and founder of the Dutchess County based consulting firm KML Strategies, LLC.  Lalor is the founder of Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..



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