Thursday, July 16, 2009

Local Legislators Get Bill Through Dem Legislature

The NYS Senate granted unanimous approval (58-0) today to two bills designed to help three small communities qualify for economic development and community enhancement projects through money available from the NYS Department of State and provided through the federal Coastal Resources program. If signed by Governor Paterson, the bills would grant inland waterway status to Lake Placid, Mirror Lake and the Little River in the Town of Franklin.

According to the Adirondack Council’s John Sheehan, “these programs encourage comprehensive planning and sustainable economic development, especially projects that also help to protect water quality and other natural resources. Businesses and residents will be eligible for state and federal matching funds for business development and community beautification/revitalization programs.”

What unusual here is that the bills were sponsored by minority members Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, and Assemblywoman Theresa Sayward, R-Willsboro who have a hard time getting anything done in the legislature. “It is unusual for bills sponsored by minority members in both houses to get out of committee, let alone to the floor for a vote of the full house,” Sheehan told the Almanack, “It is too early to tell whether this is a home-rule courtesy or a signal of a more open voting process in the Legislature.”

UPDATE: NCPR’s Brian Mann met with Betty Little. According to his report: “Little acknowledged that the Senate’s institutional credibility has been seriously damaged. She said it has been hard explaining to voters in the North Country why the Republican-led coup was a good idea.”

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