I’ve spoken about this with some government people today and it looks as if it was a question of strategy. The Dems placed the governance bill on the Senate floor before doing the amendments. With no amendments attached, it passed. Paterson has the right to sign it into law because without the amendments, it matched the Assembly bill.
Recognizing the amendments are not particularly strong, some senators are nevertheless hoping to get them ratified in some form or other in the Assembly when it comes back into session. According the NY Post, the governor will sign them into law as well should they ever reach his desk.
Bottom line: We have mayoral control for six years. Whether we’ll have modifications to it, who knows at this point. And PS: there’s much more to this story, but I didn’t get that far today.
According to all the Times and some other newspapers, Gov. Paterson signed the school governance bill into law yesterday morning.
The Senate bill has four amendments that were never voted on by the Assembly. It’s not clear how the two bills can be signed into law until they are matched.
“Governor Paterson did not renew Mayoral Control this morning. His action to ‘sign’ the ‘bill’ passed by the legislature was indeed unconstitutional. No Mayoral control law has been renewed or enacted as a result. The Senate voted on August 6, 2009 to renew Mayoral Control with amendments. The renewal included a ‘retroactive’ clause to June 30, 2009 since the 2002 law had expired on that date. Even if the amendments were to be voted on separately by the Assembly the inclusion of that ‘retroactive’ clause required a ‘reconciliation’ by the Assembly since the two bills were no longer identical. Only after such a reconciliation would the governor be constitutionally permitted to sign the bill into law. The amendments were indeed inseparable from the bill ‘signed’ this morning by Governor Paterson. Paterson therefore did not uphold his oath of office to faithfully execute and follow The New York State Constitution. Having ‘signed’ the documents in secret, behind closed doors and without any public announcement, is indicative of this unlawful and unconstitutional action.”
— Nicola DeMarco