NYS Senator Uncloaks Vampire Voting Act

Feb 6, 2013

Credit Courtesy of Terry Gipson

A New York State Senator from the Hudson Valley has introduced a bill he says will keep legislators from voting under the cover of darkness.

Democratic State Senator Terry Gipson, who represents most of Dutchess County, and parts of Putnam County, has introduced the following measure.

So far, Democratic Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk is a co-sponsor; she represents Greene and Montgomery Counties, as well as parts of Ulster, Albany, and Schenectady Counties. Gipson says others have expressed interest, though he declined to name names. Again, here’s Gipson.

He says when Governor Andrew Cuomo last month signed The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, or NY SAFE Act, as the gun-control legislation is known, that was the final trigger for his authoring the Vampire Voting Act. However, Gipson points out that his bill differs from the New York State Government Transparency Act introduced Tuesday by Republican State Senator Greg Ball, and a number of Republican Assembly Members.

Gipson’s Vampire Voting Act does not refer to messages of necessity. The Transparency Act does, requiring two-thirds approval for a message of necessity, which Governor Cuomo used in ushering the SAFE Act through the legislature. In addition, the Transparency Act prohibits legislators from passing bills between midnight and eight a.m., unless two-thirds of the legislature are present.

Kieran Lalor, a Republican Assembly Member who represents parts of Dutchess County, has signed onto the Transparency Act. 

He says the enacting the bill will lead to open government.

Also during Tuesday’s introduction of the Transparency Act, Assembly Member Steve McLaughlin, who represents parts of Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer Counties, made controversial remarks while answering a question about comments that Cuomo acted like a dictator when he expedited the passage of the gun control policy last month using a “message of necessity.”

He later released a video apology, in which he said he had called Governor Cuomo to personally apologize.