The state Legislature passed 649 bills during the six-month session that ended last week – the third fewest since 1915, a review today found.
The bi-partisan control of the state Senate and an increased reliance on the state budget to deal with policy changes has fueled a drop in bills passed over the century, a report from the New York Public Interest Group found. In 2012, the Legislature passed the fewest bills since 1915: 571.
Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, was viewed as the most “independent senator” because his voting record differed the most from the three Senate leaders, the report said.
“I think most people in Albany know my tendency to break ranks and shake things up,” Ball said in a statement. “I’ve chilled a little since my days in the Assembly and am proud to be part of a great majority with stellar members, but I still break ranks when I feel it’s important.”
Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, passed the second most bills in the Assembly and Senate, a total of 31 during the six-month session.
Assemblyman Bill Nojay, R-Pittsford, Monroe County, had the most “no” votes in the Assembly, a total of 329 “no” votes. Assemblyman Christopher Friend, R-Big Flats, Chemung County, voted “no” 324 times, the second most.
Nojay said he’s proud of the distinction.
“New York state spends too much money on too many things that are of no benefit to taxpayers,” said Nojay, who is in his first term.
Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat from Brooklyn who sits with the Republicans, said only one word on the Senate floor through June 18, the most recent transcripts available showed, the report said.
Felder said, “Here,” on the first day of session, Jan. 9.
Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, the ranking member on the Finance Committee for the Democratic minority, spoke the most: more than 40,000 words. Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, the GOP’s floor leader, spoke the most among Senate Republicans: 26,406 words.
As the GOP’s deputy leader, Libous also had another distinction, the report found. His remarks sparked laughter the most in the Senate through June 18, a total of 38 times.
Overall, the chamber broke down in laughter 170 times between the beginning of session and June 18, the transcripts showed.
Assemblyman William Boyland, D-Brooklyn, who is facing a variety of corruption charges, missed the most votes: 809.
Boyland was among 17 legislators, mainly Assembly members, who had no bills passed during the session. Others included indicted New York City Sens. Malcolm Smith and John Sampson. Assemblyman Bill Reilich, R-Greece, Monroe County, also had no bills passed, the report said.
Thirteen legislators introduced fewer than 10 bills, including many freshman lawmakers. Assembly members Didi Barrett, D-Poughkeepsie, and Friend each introduced six bills. Friend had two pass both houses; Barrett had one.