WNYT.com

Legislative year comes to an end

Posted at: 06/22/2013 3:32 PM
Updated at: 06/22/2013 9:42 PM
By: Dan Bazile

After six months of work, state lawmakers leave the Capitol. How good was the legislative year? It depends on which side of the aisle you ask.

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin says it's the typical dysfunction in Albany. There was no tax relief for New Yorkers and no mandate relief for businesses. He also had issues with the budget and most of all, he says, nothing was done about the scandals that broke out at the Capitol.

“We didn't even pass a corruption bill,” notes the Assemblyman.

Two senate leaders, Malcolm Smith and John Sampson, were indicted on corruption charges. Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was arrested on bribery charges. Another assemblyman, Veto Lopez, resigned after allegations of sexual harassment from members of his staff. Speaker silver used taxpayer dollars to pay the alleged victims hush money.

Assemblyman John McDonald says the Assembly did pass a corruption bill, but it didn't go anywhere. He says that should have been a priority. However, he says the session was pretty successful contrary to what McLaughlin believes.

“Besides getting the budget done for the third year in a row on time, there is a reemphasis on putting the money back into public education,” say McDonald.

Then there was the Women's Equality Act, which has ten planks. Both sides seem to agree on nine of them. The tenth has to do with abortion, which caused it to fail.

“We had a chance to protect and strengthen some protection laws for women. We should have done that. I hope that we at least get back and address the nine points as soon as possible because it would be a tremendous disservice to women,” says Assem. McDonald.