Updated: 06/20/2014 8:18 PM
Created: 06/20/2014 6:40 PM WHEC.com
Lawmakers are making their final votes on bills for 2014 as the legislative session comes to an end. As part of News10NBC’s exclusive “New York State Exposed” series, we are taking a look at things they did well and things they didn’t do.
Our local lawmakers in Albany work for you. You have the right to know if they are passing laws that matter.
New York State Assemblyman Bill Nojay says this session wasn’t all that he had hoped for.
“This session was somewhat of a disappointment. There were a lot of things in the beginning of the year that we thought might get done like campaign finance, meaningful campaign finance reform, but somehow they always get political here in Albany,” said Nojay.
Local representatives say they did pass some important measures through both houses this year, like the fourth on-time budget, measures to combat heroin, tougher penalties for repeat DWI offenders and the increase of spending in veteran’s health.
Some lawmakers say less important bills that made it to the floor got things off track.
“The time we spent discussing the yogurt bill is time we could have spent trying to get the Women’s Equality Act or the Child Safety Protection act done. I think, in some instances, we could have used our time better,” said O’Brien.
Lawmakers are elected by tax payers, so did tax payers get the most bang for their buck?
“We did some good things, like zero tax rates for manufactured enterprises. We are really reducing property tax which is extremely important. We also increased aid to education,” said Senator Ted O’Brien.
So with an election coming up in November, what can you do to make sure lawmakers are working for you? Some say it starts with the budget, and who voted to approve it.
“The budget just keeps getting bigger every year. The politicians say they are controlling spending, and so on, but if you look at the numbers, Albany spent more money than the year before,” said Nojay.