Republicans ‘Legislate’ as Democrats Sit in Silence

ALBANY–Now Republicans have entered the Senate chamber and are reading bills and ostensibly passing them as Democrats do nothing.

The remainder of the 62 senators entered the chamber around 2:30, and the lights went on. State Senator George Winner, an Elmira Republican, attempted to take he dais. He was blocked by a deputy sergeant at arms, who said he was acting on the orders of Senate Secretary Angelo Aponte.

Without hesitating, Winner walked to the area below the chamber, said the Pledge of Allegiance (the Dems didn’t say anything) and began moving through an active list of local bills and extenders. The bills were read, the roll was called, and as Democrats sat silently, Republican parliamentarian Jack Casey said the bills were passed, 62-0. I asked Aponte, standing in the corner of the chamber, if he recognized what was happening was valid.

“No,” he replied. “Do you see any journal clerks here?”

Senator Dean Skelos rose and asked Aponte to reveal bill jackets and turn on the microphones in the chamber. Aponte said nothing.

Odd, today. And kind of silly.

UPDATE: Two sessions, one floor. Republicans ‘Legislate’ as Democrats Sit in Silence