Monday, July 10, 2006

What is "Rejection"?

John A. Camitsiditas, chairman and chief executive of a chain of New York City supermarkets, writes in an op-ed in yesterday's New York Times:

NEW YORKERS dodged a bullet last month when the State Senate rejected a bill, which the Assembly had earlier passed, that would have increased the number of bottles and cans that can be returned for a 5-cent deposit at your local grocery store.

He is referring to the so-called "Bigger Bottle Bill," which was meant to increase the amount of glass and aluminum recycled in New York State. The Bigger Bottle Bill passed by an overwhelming majority in the State Assembly and, according to Blair Horner of NYPIRG, had six Republican co-sponsors in the Senate. It appears to have the support of a majority of New Yorkers.

Given all these facts, there must have been some brave New York Senate Republicans (and Democrats) who voted down the bottle bill on the Senate floor, no? Well, no. The "rejection" that Camitsiditas refers to is the kind of rejection we're used to in the New York legislative process: somehow the bill dies without anyone having to take a vote. Republicans and Democrats alike can claim to support the bill. And all we know is Majority Leader Bruno kept it from ever coming to a vote.

Love the Bigger Bottle Bill or hate it, this is no way to run a legislature that the voters can hold accountable.

Categories: General, Legislative Rules

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