By LIZ SKOCZYLAS
OBSERVER Mayville Bureau
The number of bills passing both the state Senate and Assembly is higher for 2013 than 2012.
A recent study by New York Public Interest Research Group analyzed the New York legislative session to date. Although the study does not draw conclusions on the substance of the bills or a legislators' impact, it provides data comprised by the Legislative Bill Drafting Commission.
Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Chautauqua County, introduced 30 bills during the 2013 session, with five passing his own house, five passing both houses and 60 percent of the bills having a sponsor in the Senate. His numbers were 15 percent more than the overall average for the Assembly, and twice as many bills as the average minority assemblyman. In addition, one of his major legislative initiatives was enacted into law as part of the budget.
"I deeply appreciate the strong and effective partnership with Cathy Young in the Senate," Goodell said. "Senator Young has done a truly superb job for us in the Senate."
Most of the legislation sponsored by Goodell focused directly on Chautauqua County, and included bills to improve funding for the lakes in Chautauqua County, promote local tourism and honor local heroes.
The budget legislation implemented changes in unemployment charges. Under the new legislation, an employer will not suffer from higher unemployment rates if an employee voluntarily leaves the employer for a new job, is later laid off from the new job and applies for unemployment. Under the prior law, the first employer paid a portion of the unemployment claim, even though the first employer was completely blameless for the subsequent unemployment.
Goodell referred to this legislation as the "Shagla Bill" because the situation was brought to his attention by Thom Shagla, the owner and operator of the See-Zurh House in Bemus Point.
"I am very glad that Gov.Cuomo included this corrective language in the budget bill," Goodell said.
Additionally, Goodell explained that eight bills he co-sponsored were adopted.
"When it comes to putting Chautauqua County residents first, I strongly support both Republican and Democrat bills that help our area," Goodell said.
He said those bills were Democrat bills that helped Chautauqua County residents, including a 2 percent assessment cap for farms, improved farm net-metering to promote green energy, a better veteran service credit to help our military veterans, automatic leave time for volunteer firemen in the event of a state of emergency, stronger cost-benefit analysis for regulatory changes and higher child assault penalties for repeat offenders.
"I am very pleased that my Assembly colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, supported a number of my bills during the last legislative session," Goodell said. "Working together, we can make progress for New York state."