Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Senate Made a Promise to Veterans. What Happened?

Thanks to a tip from a Veterans for Peace member, we have learned that a bill designed to provide national guard members with treatment for the toxic effects of depleted uranium has inexplicably died, despite being passed by both the Assembly and Senate this June.

The bill was introduced in January in the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee and in March in the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs Committee. The Assembly substituted the Senate bill for its own, and both chambers passed the bill unanimously near the end of the session.

The Assembly has a rule (Rule III, §9) that Assembly bills approved by both chambers must be transmitted to the Governor within forty-five days, regardless of when the bill was passed. (This is not to say that they actually follow this rule: research done for our last report on legislative rules showed that the rule wasn’t followed on at least 38 of the major bills we studied.) Unfortunately, the bill both houses passed originated in the Senate, and that body does not have a similar rule.

Regardless of whether a timeframe is spelled out in the rules, though, it is hard to understand why this bill has not been sent to the Governor.

Calling all Senators: why has this bill, with supposedly so much support in your chamber, not yet made it to the Governor?

Categories: General, Legislative Rules

No comments: