After the 2000 presidential election which saw Al Gore win the popular vote, but George Bush win the White House, there was an outcry by some to get rid of the Electoral College. A bill to change that system has just cleared the New York State Assembly.
The measure is being supported by Albany area Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, a Democrat, who says the bill would have New York join an interstate compact in which states would give all of their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide. Fahy spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.
It’s getting down to the wire for major pieces of legislation as the end of session approaches in Albany, including women’s rights and campaign finance reform. There are no agreements yet, but as Karen DeWitt reports, that’s not unusual in a government that operates on last minute deals.
Women’s groups are putting pressure on the State Senate’s ruling coalition to take up Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, which includes an abortion rights provision.
Senator DeFrancisco, a Syracuse Republican and Chair of the Finance Committee, said in an interview with public radio and television that most New York women aren’t that interested in the proposal, “and would not even lose a night’s sleep about expanding abortion rights”.
Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol to rally for public financing of political campaigns. The measure remains in limbo in the State Senate and Governor Cuomo faces questions on whether he’s working hard enough for the proposal to pass.
They came in busses from all over New York to give state lawmakers their message- big money is corrupting politics. They say the state should adopt New York City’s public campaign finance system, which allows candidates to match every dollar they collect in small donations with seven dollars of government funds.
Faced with the possibility of being expelled from the state legislature as soon as next week, State Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a Democrat from Brooklyn, today said he would resign on June 20th at the end of the legislative session and run for a seat on the New York City Council.
There have been a number of ideas and suggestions on how to improve the New York State Legislature, especially after the recent arrest of two lawmakers on corruption charges. One of the ideas is changing the job from part-time to full time. That’s not a new thought, in fact it was suggested more than 100 years ago, in 1910, by then newly-elected State Senator Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The second half of New York’s legislative session begins Monday. It's likely to be dominated by the response to on going bribery and corruption scandals that came to light while lawmakers were on spring break.
Governor Cuomo, and one of the Co-Leaders of the State Senate have already taken some preemptive action before the legislature’s scheduled return to the Capitol, following federal bribery charges against a State Senator and an Assemblyman, as well as other officials.