Opinion Editorial on Message of Necessity for Immediate Vote

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EDITORIAL: Gov. Andrew Cuomo misused power to get gun bill passed

Editorial
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo got your attention this week. We’re pretty certain of that.

We’re hoping the hotly debated, highly volatile issue of gun rights, which has worked so many of our readers into a blind rage, will also make you mad as hell about how this governor does business and not want to take it anymore.

Many of you are not happy about the new gun law passed in Albany, and if you watched the proceedings carefully, you should be even more angry over how it was done.

Ever since the Newtown shootings a month ago, we’ve taken the position it is time to have a conversation about a variety of issues, none of which single-handedly would have prevented the Newtown shootings, but together might further our advancement as a civilized culture and lessen violence in the future.

Over the past few weeks, we talked about the media sensationalizing the news, the effect of video games on our kids, school security and, finally this week, finding the right balance between gun rights and gun control.

Although New York has a constitutional amendment that requires a three-day public review of a new law, there was no such thing when it came to the new gun control measures.

The state Senate received copies of the 78-page law at about 11 p.m. Monday and was asked to vote on it shortly afterward. Using a loophole in the legislative process called a “message of necessity,” the governor was able to suspend the three-day vetting process, limit public debate to a minimum and force a vote before most of the legislators could even read all 78 pages.

He said he did this because gun violence constituted an emergency, requiring fast action by the Legislature.

Poppycock!

Or, words far stronger than we are allowed to use here.

This was the 35th time since taking office Gov. Cuomo used a “message of necessity” to ram through legislation.

We hope you are paying attention, because this is becoming standard operating procedure in Albany.

We wrote about this at length in March when Gov. Cuomo traded the current gerrymandered legislative districts for a constitutional amendment on casino gambling and some much-needed pension reforms.

Gov. Cuomo may be getting things done, but we are opposed to how he is doing it.

We said then, and we repeat it now, this is an obvious misuse of power.

We believe this time it is far worse and the issue of gun rights needed to be debated openly and at length, and each member of the Legislature needed to have time to review every detail of the new law.

This is important stuff and the details are important.

The people should have been allowed to have their say.

So while you are signing petitions, and writing your assembly representative and state senator about your opposition to the new gun bill, you might want to mention the misuse of the “message of necessity” by the governor needs to end.

This was not an emergency.

But the governor’s abuse of power is quickly becoming one.

Local editorials represent the opinion of The Post-Star editorial board, which consists of Publisher Rick Emanuel, Editor Ken Tingley, Projects Editor Will Doolittle and citizen representative Robert Sledd.

 

 

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