State Assemblymembers Nily Rozic, David Weprin and Edward Braunstein should have hired spelling bee champion Arvind Mahankali when they honored him during his visit to the Assembly. Arvind Mahankali could read the thousands of pages contained in hundreds of bills and explain the contents to Rozic, Weprin and Braunstein before they vote.
Members of our New York State Legislature could learn much from the late Idaho Republican Senator James A. McClure. His claim to fame on Capitol Hill was for 18 years, he read every word of every bill before voting on it. For many years, he signed his own mail.
Fast forward to today, did members of the State Legislature take an Evelyn Wood speed reading class to absorb the thousands of pages contained in the hundreds of bills contained in legislation passed in the dead of night during the closing session? They only received these with only hours before being asked to vote up or down. Only lobbyists, key legislative staff members employed by the Assembly and Senate leadership teams who actually wrote the fine print within the several thousand pages on behalf of their bosses had any idea of the details buried in the actual contents. There should be a seven day minimum time out period. This would provide adequate time for members of any legislative body but also ordinary citizens, the media and independent good government watch dog groups the opportunity to understand all of the contents contained in any proposed bill. Everyone would also have the opportunity under an open process to comment and discuss the merits or consequences before others vote up or down for adoption.
Ditto for reading the thousands of daily automated robo letters sent to constituents, who have taken their own personal time to write. Liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, we would all be better off if State Assembly and State Senate members would take time to actually read, line by line and openly debate in public any proposed legislation before voting. Their legislative actions impact both our economic and civil liberties. Future generations have to pay for and live with the consequences.