UPDATE: Failed bills advance from Senate committee
Two bills moved through the state Senate's committee process even though they were defeated in the committee.
At today's meeting of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee there were 10 bills up for discussion, including Senate Bills 313 and 1415. After votes were tallied on both bills, committee Chairman Patrick Gallivan, R-Erie County, announced that there weren't enough votes to move them.
Both bills were reported out of committee anyway, according to the state's public information site.
Based on video from the meeting, Senate Bill 313 received five votes, which wasn't enough to send it to the Aging Committee, where it ended up. "The bill is not reported," said Gallivan in the meeting.
Based on the same video, Senate Bill 1415 received six votes, which wasn't enough to send it to the Codes Committee, where it ended up. "Six aye votes and we need seven to report," said Gallivan. "This bill is not reported."
Watch the action below. Senate Bill 313 comes up at the 44 second mark and Senate Bill 1415 is addressed at 8:30 mark.
I've begun going through the Senate Rules and don't yet know how this is possible. Emails to members of the Senate Republican press office were not immediately returned to explain what happened.
It is likely that they counted additional proxy votes after the meeting. I don't know if that is illegal or legal, and if it is legal, whether this happens regularly.
UPDATE Found this little bit of language in the senate rules, which probably explains what happened today:
a Senator required to attend a public hearing or other meeting of a standing or conference committee, or any other meeting which the Majority Coalition Leaders designate as appropriate, may cast his or her vote at any time prior to 5:00 P.M. or the adjournment of the Senate, whichever shall be later.
After watching this happen, I'm struck by remarks from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to the Citizens Crime Commission, where he said, "I suppose, also, that there are temptations in the system, weaknesses in oversight, and gaping holes in transparency".
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