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Facts from NYPIRG anaylsis


The New York Public Interest Research Group has released its analysis of the 2011-2012 legislative session.
Here are some bits and pieces from it, which include rankings on how prolific of bill-passers the legislators were and numbers that shed light on party loyalty in the state Legislature.
Duprey doesn't introduce many bills
Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, R-Peru, was one of 11 legislators (out of 212) to introduce fewer than 10 bills in the past two years. Five of those 11 legislators didn't serve the full two-year term, unlike Ms. Duprey.
Ms. Duprey, who is running for re-election in a seat that will encompass four St. Lawrence County towns plus Franklin County next year, introduced seven bills — five in 2011, two in 2012. Four of them, all from 2011, passed the Assembly and the Senate.
Ms. Duprey is, of course, in the minority. Democrats have something of a stranglehold on the legislative process in the lower chamber.
She said that introducing bills that have no chance of passage simply isn't her style — it's a waste of time and money, she siad.
"I have been there for six sessions and sat there and listened to never-ending debates on bills that will never pass," Ms. Duprey said.
Only about half of the bills that end up passing the Assembly are then passed by the Senate. A great many more are introduced, and each must be printed at taxpayer expense.
"We spend so much time in Albany debating one-house bills that are not going to go anyplace, over really silly things," Ms. Duprey said. "I won't do it."
The two bills she introduced in 2012 came late in the session. One would designate a wine trail in Clinton County. The other would ban sex offenders from campgrounds.
One of the major roles of a minority member of the Assembly is to pass "home rule" legislation — allowing counties to set their sales-tax rate, for example. And those were taken care of last year, Ms. Duprey said. She said she plans to reintroduce the sex-offender ban bill and the wine trail bill next year.
Little, Griffo most prolific in north country
State Sens. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, and Joe Griffo, R-Rome, were the most prolific bill-passers in the north country's legislative delegation. Ms. Little is running unopposed to represent a chunk of St. Lawrence County in 2013. She introduced 31 bills that passed both houses. Mr. Griffo, who represents Lewis County and part of St. Lawrence County, introduced 29 bills that passed both houses.
Party loyalty
Party loyalty in the state Senate is pretty hard to quantify. The average lawmaker votes with the majority leader AND the minority leader more than 90 percent of the time. Deals are often hammered out in advance, which also explains how only one bill failed on the Senate floor in 2012.
But here's the party loyalty list, first with Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, then Democratic Minority Leader John Sampson.
Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton: 99.45 percent with Skelos, 97.56 percent with Sampson.
Mr. Griffo: 99.14 percent with Skelos, 97.09 percent with Sampson.
Ms. Little: 98.2 percent with Skelos, 96.38 percent with Sampson.
The Assembly Republicans who represent parts of the north country were near the top of the list in voting with Republican Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, was fifth, voting 96.43 percent of the time with Kolb. Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, was eighth, voting with Kolb 95.85 percent of the time. Ms. Duprey was ninth, voting with Kolb 95.06 percent of the time. Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, R-Black River, was 13th, voting with Kolb 94.4 percent of the time.
Assemblywoman Addie Russell, D-Theresa, was 41st out of 99 Democrats in voting with Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, voting with him 99.41 percent of the time. She voted with Kolb 89.4 percent of the time.

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