Freshman Sen. Simcha Felder responded to a roll call on the first day of session Jan. 8 with a “here!”
Drumroll. That marked the first and last time the Brooklyn Democrat spoke on the legislature floor this past session ending last Friday.
That was one tidbit from the New York Public Interest Research Group’s annual report card on the legislature.
From Albany’s long-winded denizens to the lawmakers busily passing bills, from the ones who never missed a vote to those who were absent most of the time, to the laughs, cheers and groans elicited from the audience — the group assessed the most in-the-news legislature session in decades.
Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, by far logged the most words among the Capitol’s 213 lawmakers. Even her Democratic colleagues were irritated by her lengthy floor speeches — 40,064 words in 2013 — on issues that were not even up for debate.
“Thaaank you, but we have no comment,” a Senate GOP spokesman said, imitating for the Daily News one of Krueger’s signature lines.
Krueger aide Andrew Goldston said the senator “believes in deliberative democracy.”
Felder joked that that his one-word record was one he would attempt to beat next year.
“I may have spoken too much this year,” he said. “I’ll try to do better next year by not speaking at all unless I have something meaningful to say.”
Felder told Hamodia that he responded to the roll call that first day, but not since.
“Every day when you walk in, some people nod, some people raise their hand, just that the front of the chamber knows that you’re there,” he said. “I usually go over to them.”
“You see,” he added, “now I’m making up by talking so much.”
Felder’s closest competitor for silence was Sen. John Sampson, who spoke 430 words but was absent the most from the chamber. There were no statistics available for the wordiest assemblyman.
Sen. Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) at 26,406, spoke the second to the most but received the most laughs, at 38. Sens. Ruben Diaz and Adriano Espaillat, both Bronx Democrats, were the only one to receive cheers from the gallery, although Sen. Terry Gipson (D-Putnam) was the only one to have people groan at his speech.
Only 650 bills passed both houses of the legislature this session, the third lowest since 1915. Sen. Martin Golden sponsored 41 bills, the most of any member which were signed into law. Sen. Jose Rivera (D-Bronx) was the only one not to have any of his bills passed. He also sponsored the least number of bills — one.
Assemblyman William Boyland (D-Brooklyn), who is battling federal corruption charges, was the most absent member, skipping 75 percent of all votes.
The average Democratic assemblyman introduced 63 bills, with their GOP counterpart averaging half of that, 31. Senate Democrats on average sponsored 85 bills, Senate Republicans 106 bills.
Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) sponsored the most bills, at 406. But only five of them were passed into law.