Common Sense: Rating the Legislature

The State Conservative Party came out with its legislative ratings for the 2014 legislative session last week.  The Conservative Party rated 20 bills for the Assembly and Senate with about 10 being voted on by both houses.

Among the bills the party opposed were the NYS Dream Act and the 10-point Women’s Equality Act whose 10th point expands abortion in New York, as well as a number of bills that increase taxes, debt or spending.

Among the bills we supported was legislation to prevent public assistance cash dollars from being used to buy alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, gaming or adult entertainment; the National Popular Vote for Presidential voting and an act to make terrorism recruitment a Class C Felony.

As usual, and as I think one would expect, State Senators Marty Golden (whom I serve as chief of staff) and Simcha Felder received the highest ratings of any senators in Brooklyn.  Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis received a considerably higher rating than any other assemblymember in Brooklyn.

The full member ratings as well as all the bills used, with descriptions, can be found on the State Conservative Party’s website,


Ballot Proposition # 2 is generally known as the “Wasteful Paper Reduction Act.”  It has the lofty goal of changing the State Constitution to allow for a long overdue, common-sense change in the way the New York Legislature operates.

At present, the State Constitution requires that all bills that are introduced be printed as hard copies and placed on each member desk for three days to “age” before they can be considered.  There are 213 legislators and every two years, over 20,000 bills and resolutions — often many pages in length – are introduced and printed.

The budget bills alone are each many hundreds of pages in length.  The costs associated with all this paper, printing and distribution are estimated at many millions of dollars annually. And that is a lot trees going to paper.

What Proposition 2 simply does is amend the State Constitution to replace the printed bills with a digital version. Legislators will still need to have received the digital version for a full three days before it can be considered, but it would not be printed on paper.

Of course, the digital versions exist now and are actually what the legislators and staffs use each day, but regardless, unless this change is adopted, those digital versions cannot officially be used as part of the bill “aging” process.

It saves money and is environmentally friendly. Who could be opposed? Actually no one, but it still needs to be approved by the voters of the state because it’s a constitutional amendment.

As an FYI, Assemblymember Malliotakis worked diligently with Assemblymember Jim Tedesco of Schenectady and Assemblymember William Magnarelli of Syracuse to keep this change front and center in the legislature.

This was important because a state constitutional amendment, before it goes before the voters, must be passed by two separate consecutive legislatures.  It is all worth noting that, once passed by two consecutive legislatures, it does not require the signature of the governor to move to the ballot.


                Be careful this year when you vote for State Supreme Court judges.  As a result of a failure of the Law Committee of the Brooklyn Republican Party to file the necessary paperwork with the Board of Elections in a timely fashion, there are no Republican candidates for judge in Brooklyn.  Thus, if you wish to vote for anyone other than the Democratic candidates, you should look to the right where you will find a full slate of qualified Conservative Party candidates for judge.

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