by Jeremy Moule
Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature voted against two borrowing measures last night, one for a bridge project in Wheatland and the other for a road project in Chili. Because the borrowing measures require approval from two-thirds of legislators, they failed.
The votes were a tactical move by the Democratic caucus, which is in the minority in the Legislature; the bond votes are one of their only sources of leverage. Democrats say they are tired of submitting legislation only to have it rejected, voted down in committee, or sent to purgatory by Republican committee chairs. They want at least some of their proposals to be considered and discussed by the full Legislature, says Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews.
"Our ideas deserve to be fully vetted as well," she said during an interview this morning.
Legislators had previously approved borrowing for the Wheatland and Chili projects in 2011 and 2008 respectively. Last night, they were voting on a measure that would have increased each project by $100,000, Andrews says.
Since the time the Chili project was approved in 2008, Democrats have submitted 45 pieces of legislation, Andrews says, but only two went to the full Legislature.
Of particular interest to the caucus is reviving proposed legislationto direct the county to develop an advertising campaign addressing infant mortality.