Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) proposed a measure on the Assembly floor today that would require a two-thirds vote of the house for Messages of Necessity to be accepted when issued by the governor. Legislation is usually subject to an “aging” period of three days before it can be voted on, but Messages of Necessity are issued by the governor to forgo this process and rush a vote on important and/or controversial legislation, as was done with the SAFE Act.

            “Messages of Necessity should only be used in extreme circumstances, and all legislation should be subject to proper vetting and examination instead of being irresponsibly rushed through the legislative process,” Hawley said. ”This tactic is often used to pass legislation before the public and media have time to criticize it, and that is cowardly. I am disappointed this proposal was voted down by the Assembly Majority but I will continue to beat the drum for ethics reform in Albany.”

            The Assembly also took the next step toward stripping pension and retirement benefits from corrupt lawmakers today by passing a constitutional amendment which has been championed by the Assembly Minority for years.

            “I was pleased that the Assembly passed our pension forfeiture bill today and took an important step toward breaking down Albany’s culture of corruption and malfeasance,” Hawley said. “Corrupt lawmakers should never be allowed to collect a taxpayer-funded pension after betraying the public trust, and I am proud to have voted for this measure.”

            If the bill passes the Senate this year, it must be approved by voters as a statewide referendum before becoming law.

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