Senate Democrats End Gridlock, Pass Critical Legislation That Will Benefit Millions Of New Yorkers

Velmanette Montgomery

June 30, 2009

Albany, NY(June 30, 2009): Today, a three-week long stalemate which had stalled all legislation in the Senate came to an end as the Senate Majority obtained the 32 votes necessary to achieve quorum and began to pass critical legislation. After obtaining a quorum through the presence of 32 members in the Chamber, and with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins as the Presiding Officer, the Senate unanimously passed major and non-controversial legislation. If these bills were not passed, New York faced the potential loss of billions in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The passage of over 100 bills today will help local governments throughout the state continue to receive the financial support from the state legislature they rely on. Each of the bills passed by the Senate in today’s regular session were passed by the Assembly during their regular session.
“Today we have met our responsibility to pass critical legislation that will help all New Yorkers. We passed the Power for Jobs program, funding for schools and housing, and empowered local governments to raise revenue to provide critical services,” said Senate Democratic Leader John L. Sampson.
“Today we met the needs of 19.5 million New Yorkers by fulfilling our promise to pass legislation which will provide billions in revenue for local governments and protect of hundreds of thousands of jobs. This essential legislation helps families, children, seniors, and businesses across the state of New York. The process was far from perfect, but at the end of the day we served the best interests of the people by passing legislation,” said Senate President and Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith.
Among the bills unanimously passed today include the following:
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 protected over 250,000 jobs. 
Education and Federal Stimulus Funding:
A series of bills which will secure a total of $3.8 billion in federal education and health funds for New York schoolchildren, help fund local school budgets and reduce the need for local property tax increases.
Housing Development:
The Senate passed bills that will provide $1.5 billion for affordable housing, mortgage assistance, and middle class and low income housing projects throughout the state. These programs will address the State’s long-standing commitment to housing, including in rural, suburban and urban communities.
Empowering Local Governments to Raise Revenue for Services:
The Senate passed bills that will allow local governments to raise $1.7 billion in revenue used to support local services including schools, local government programs and operations and law enforcement.