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Willful ignorance of our state Constitution

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Revelations of how a fabricated emergency drove the passage of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act has touched an exposed nerve of a legislative process that has operated in violation of the state constitution for many years. Violation of the three-day rule through selective use of the “message of necessity” is unconstitutional. Our legislators and executive violated their oaths of office to uphold the constitution of New York state through willful ignorance of it. These violations have deprived us of our constitutionally guaranteed right to be part of the review process of all proposed legislation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s own admission that he truly believes legislative debate is a hindrance to passing his agenda into law is an example of his dictatorial approach to governance. That our Legislature, including our own Sens. Joseph Griffo, Patty Ritchie, Elizabeth Little, Hugh Farley, David Valesky and Michael Nozzolio, routinely accepts without question the “message of necessity” as necessary to the process of legislating is also problematic. These violations signal either gross ignorance of their duty to uphold the constitution or complete contempt for the rule of law and the people.

This is not a failure of Republicans or Democrats; it’s simply a failure of the people’s government. It’s failure that continues unabated, in both parties, with a wink and a nod, as a political process rotten with willful deception. It must stop, the people must be given the opportunity to review all legislation, as the constitution intended, except in the case of a true emergency.

Robert Petteys

Lyons Falls

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