ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – There are just five weeks left until the end of the scheduled legislative session.
In that time, both advocates and lawmakers will be discussing and trying to pass hundreds of bills.
“In the New York State Assembly we author more bills than the U.S House of Representatives,” Assemblyman Mark Johns said.
In 2016, the New York Legislature introduced over 7,000 bills. In fact, 400 only passed one house and failed to see any action from the other chamber.
To give you an idea of the type of bills that are introduced in either house that doesn’t really go anywhere it’s best to just show you a few examples, requiring you to put a license plate on your bicycle and charging you twenty-five dollars to put it there.”
Or not allowing anyone under the age of 13 to slide head-first during a baseball game.
Bills that Assemblyman Johns says waste time, so he’s asking his colleagues to change their ways by passing the soul act.
“It would give every member, whether your minority or majority member one chance every two years, every term to bring a bill up for a debate, discussion, and up or down vote,” Johns said.
This year marks the assemblyman’s fifth attempt. With voters having a chance to change how government works in a possible constitutional convention vote this year, Johns says lawmakers should act now.
“If we don’t start ushering in real reform, you’re going to see people opt to vote for a constitutional convention so we can get things like legislative equality.”
Meanwhile, others like Senator James Seward argue while not ideal, one-house bills do have a purpose.
“Well, I think it’s important that we stand up for our constituents and develop legislation in their
best interests. Obviously, we prefer to have an actual result with a two-house bill,” Seward said.
Johns argues a vote for his bill in both houses, would put an end to one-house bills for good.
Assemblyman Johns also sponsors a bill that would give you at home a chance to bring a bill to the floor for a vote if it doesn’t come up in session. If you can get 50,000 signatures, it will be on the next year’s ballot.