Democratic Bill Fails to Pass Democratic-Controlled Assembly

Here’s something that rarely happens in the New York State Assembly: a bill by a Democratic member was pulled off the floor late yesterday because it didn’t have enough votes to pass.

The bill was sponsored by Robert Sweeney of Suffolk County (kneeling) and would have allowed the county to raise its sales tax by 1 percent. That’s a major initiative the county executive there, Steve Levy, hoped to get approved.

But Levy has enacted what his critics in the Assembly say are anti-immigrant policies, specifically targeting day laborers and undocumented residents.

Phil Ramos of Suffolk County (seated) helped lead black and Latino Assembly members in a protest vote against Levy via Sweeney’s bill. By my count, 72 members had voted against the measure by the time the bill was pulled off the floor, so, technically, no vote will have been recorded.

In essence, the revolt left supporters of the bill, including the Assembly Speaker and Majority Leader, outnumbered.

Marge Markey, a Democrat from Queens, was heard telling a colleague, “This is as exciting as it gets.”

Democratic Bill Fails to Pass Democratic-Controlled Assembly