Palmesano Joins Colleagues In Sponsoring Legislation To Halt The Overuse And Abuse Of The “Message Of Necessity” Rule Which Allows For Rushed Legislative Voting

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I – Corning) today stood with several of his colleagues in the Assembly and Senate in support of the NYS Government Transparency Act, which would limit the use of the “Message of Necessity” rule to cases of legitimate emergencies.

Under the state constitution, all bills are required to “age” for three days so legislators and the public are afforded ample time to thoroughly review them. However, the governor has the power to utilize a “Message of Necessity” and forego the three-day waiting and review period. This method was recently employed for passage of the so called “NY SAFE Act” several weeks ago. It was also utilized last year for several other major bills involving redistricting reform, pension reform, teacher evaluations, expanding the DNA database and casino gambling.

“The governor is certainly not the first executive to take advantage of the ‘Message of Necessity’ rule,” said Palmesano. “However, the public deserves to have an open and transparent process, especially when considering major pieces of legislation which have such far reaching implications, as was the case with the recently passed gun control measure. The NYS Government Transparency Act would halt rushed legislative voting that is not a true emergency and allow for more public participation, review and input.”

The NYS Government Transparency Act seeks to amend the constitution so that all legislative proceedings will be brought to a halt between midnight and 8 a.m. It will also limit the use of a “Message of Necessity” to cases of legitimate emergency, such as a security threat, natural disaster or a dire fiscal crisis.

In November 2012, Palmesano was re-elected to his second term in the Assembly. He now represents the 132nd Assembly District, which consists of the majority of Steuben County, all of Schuyler and Yates counties, and portions of Chemung (Catlin, Erin, Van Etten and Veteran) and Seneca (Covert, Lodi, Ovid and Romulus) counties.