Senate Passes One Hundred Critical Bills [Updated 7.20.09]
Note: Following the resolution of the leadership dispute that began on June 8th, 2009. all of the bills referenced below were brought to the floor again during regular Senate sessions convened the week of July 13th, 2009.
On June 30, 2009, the State Senate convened a regular session at noon. Lisa Copeland, Deputy Journal Clerk of the Senate, identified 31 Democratic members as present in the Senate Chamber, along with Senator Frank Padavan (R-Queens). A quorum being obtained, the Senate proceeded to unanimously pass over 100 critical bills, including the following bills that had been previously passed by the Assembly:
- Power for Jobs. This $136 million dollar program provides low-cost power to businesses and non-profits across the state. By passing this bill, New York State saved over a 250,000 jobs.
- Education and Federal Stimulus Funding. A series of bills will secure a total of $3.8 billion in education funds for New York school children, that will also help local school budgets and reduce the need for local property tax increases.
- Housing: The Senate passed bills that will provides $1.5 billion in for affordable housing, mortgage assistance, and support for middle-class and low-income housing throughout the state.
- Empowering Local Governments to Raise Revenue for Services: The Senate passed bills that will allow local governments and New York City to raise local revenue through sales taxes, fees and pother measures. These measures will allow local governments to continue to provide critical local services.
- Timothy's Law:The Senate passed a bill that would make Timothy’s Law permanent. Timothy’s Law requires insurance companies to cover mental illness to the same extent as physical illness.
Later that day, Shelley B. Mayer, Chief Counsel to the New York State Senate Majority, sent a letter to Governor David A. Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, to reiterate the validity of the Senate's action in regard to these bills, and urging the Speaker (as is required) to send these bills to the Governor.
For more legal background on the Senate's proceedings on June 30th, 2009, please see this memorandum produced by Gregory M. Krakower, Director of Senate Policy Group & Special Counsel.