NY MMA Bill passes next step.....

 The NY MMA Bill has now passed the Assembly Codes Committee, and will now proceed to Ways and Means.....





lets hope the senate can stop fighting and pass this when the time comes !


 RIP underground shows





Senate Stays Paralyzed; So Do Bills Big and Small

ALBANY -- In the week since the State Senate was thrown into disarray by a coup that left Democrats and Republicans fighting over who is in charge, the Capitol has taken on the air of a tragic comedy.

But amid all the absurdity, it can be easy to forget that real business does go on in Albany, and that the votes lawmakers take every day can mean the difference of tens of millions of dollars for local governments across the state.

The Assembly has passed dozens of bills in recent weeks that would allow counties to charge additional sales tax. But those bills have been bottled up in the Senate, which has not taken action on a single piece of legislation since June 8.

"That's the thing that I think is being missed by most people," said Joanne M. Mahoney, county executive for Onondaga County, which includes Syracuse. "I don't know if they realize this has very real consequences for us on the local level. This pays for our schools, our public safety. It's $40 million for our budget."

Onondaga County, like many others across New York, charges an additional 4 percent sales tax on top of the 4 percent charged by the state. But in order to do that, it needs permission from the Legislature every two years.

With the recession pinching the budgets of local governments, sales tax revenue is especially critical this year. And many county leaders are beginning to worry that the Senate stalemate will hurt their budgetary bottom lines.

"This would not be the time for that to happen," said James E. Eisel Sr., the chairman of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors, who estimated the county would lose $5 million a year if the tax were not renewed. "We need it. There's no question about it."

Revenue bills, of course, are not the only items thrown into uncertainty by the Senate leadership dispute. Major issues like governance of New York City schools, which the Assembly approved on Wednesday, and same-sex marriage are up in the air.

So are smaller-impact bills the Assembly has passed, like one that would designate May 17 as Thurgood Marshall Day, and one to rename a portion of State Route 38, which runs through the Finger Lakes region, as the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Highway of Valor.

Senate Republicans have tried to vote on these and other bills but could not take any action because Democrats have refused to take their seats in a show of protest, claiming that the Republican coup was illegal.

The Senate has been split evenly at 31-31 since Senator Hiram Monserrate, one of two Democrats who initially sided with Republicans to oust Democrats from power, flipped back to the Democratic side of the aisle. Without a majority vote of 32, the Senate cannot act.

The stalemate has spawned some creative suggestions and legal theories.

Senator Pedro Espada Jr., the other Democrat who sided with Republicans and was elected as the new Senate president in last week's overthrow, said on Wednesday that the State Constitution allowed him to cast two votes in the case of a tie: one as senator, and one as acting lieutenant governor, who is empowered by the Constitution to cast a vote in the event of a tie. (Because the lieutenant governor's office is vacant, that office's powers fall to the Senate president.)

The constitutional language in question is vague, and any such move would probably lead to litigation by Democrats.

Mr. Espada also said that should the Democrats not return to the chamber on Thursday, his two votes, added to 30 votes from Republican senators, would be sufficient to provide the legal equivalent of a quorum.

"We're maintaining that if there are 31 members present, and ready to vote, those 31 members can ask for a tie-breaking vote to be cast," Mr. Espada said.

Democrats blasted Mr. Espada's theory as absurd.

"That's like asking to get a vote for every district you supposedly live in," said Austin Shafran, the spokesman for the Senate Democrats.

He was alluding to the continuing investigations by the state attorney general and the Bronx district attorney into whether Mr. Espada, who has a residence in Westchester County but represents the Bronx, spends enough time at his home in his district.

 UFC @ The Garden FTW

So did this pass or not?

to become a law, the bill has to get through both the assembly and the senate. it's making its way through the assembly; it's stalled (like everything else) in the senate.

But it DID pass through the Codes commission?

Wonder why no major news sites have picked this up? They covered when it passed through its initial vote.

the vote in the tourism, arts and sports development was huge because that was the biggest hurdle. also, because of the nonsense going on in the senate, there's a big chance the bill ain't getting done this session.