Monday, February 08, 2010

Que Pasa En Albany?

Not Much, Unfortunately
When Inaction Supplants Dysfunction

No, this isn't a visage of an impending Senate coup, the second coming of Pedro Espada, so to speak.

Just a reminder that, this November, every member of the NYS Senate, indeed, every member of the entire State Legislature, must stand for re-election.

"Stand" is, perhaps, too lofty a word for those who, too often, sit on their posteriors, pontificating through press release, promising the moon, and delivering but moon dust, if that.

Characterized as the most dysfunctional legislature in America (thank goodness. It would be hard to imagine a legislative body being any less accomplished), the utter inability to advance legislation of substance -- particularly in the Senate, where even the best of measures go to die -- inaction, more than dysfunction, has become the sad hallmark of a body all but paralyzed by its own inertia.

Whatever the issue, be it property tax relief, school aid reform, marriage equality, or, as The New York Times opines, the Family Health Care Decisions Act (itself on life support going on 18 years), New Yorkers are hurt by the Legislature's "chronic dysfunction," "prolonged dithering," and "years of procrastination."

How true.

And it's not simply a matter of the gridlock of partisan politics, though, evidently, this continues to fuel the stalemate in the Senate, where the majority holds on precariously by a single vote or two.

The Democrats who meander up State Street are, unfortunately, no more adept at moving vital measures to the floor, let alone to the Governor's desk, than are their Republican colleagues who slink down State Street.

The challenge to our State representatives, it would seem, is, perennially, who among them, at the end of the day, as the gavel comes down on the session and the storm clouds gather over the marble monoliths of beautiful downtown Albany, can do less?
And the question for us -- We, the People -- is why, in the name of anything good and decent, should we vote to send any one of them, Republican or Democrat, back to do our bidding (or not) for yet another two years?

The legislative session is now in full swing, with debate on the 2010-11 State Budget on the immediate horizon.

Demand action. Discount the promises. Hope for an epiphany in the Senate chambers. Just don't expect very much in the way of change from the historical path of ineffective and unproductive government, lest you be very disappointed.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 2. Mark your calendars accordingly.
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So, what are you waiting for, an act of the State Legislature? Read The Community Alliance blog.
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