If you are going to vote in favor of a piece of legislation, make sure you read the bill first.
That’s the lesson GOP lawmakers in New York reportedly learned after they voted in favor of a proposed state budget that includes millions of dollars in funding for the state’s hastily-passed gun control law known as the SAFE Act.
Hidden in the budget is a provision that permits the reappropriation of $28 million to fund a gun database and $3.2 million in new funding for SAFE Act “staff,” the New York Post reports.
One GOP senator, who asked to remain anonymous, said lawmakers were “told there was no dining for it.” He said he would’ve voted against it if he knew about the SAFE Act funding.
“Several Assembly GOP lawmakers said they knew only about the gun-law funding after a state Budget Division briefing,” the Post adds.
However, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association hit back on Tuesday, claiming that Republicans knew exactly what was in the budget.
“The Assembly openly debated SAFE Act funding on the chamber floor in public session, ” NYSRPA President Tom King said in a press release. “Everybody knew the money was there.”
The release cites a report published on April 11 in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:
“Assemblyman Dan Stec is warning against a provision in the state budget which would fund a state database for gun records, required by last year’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. Stec, a Republican from Queensbury, objects to a $3.2 million allocation in the budget to implement the database. That line item falls within a provision that gives state police $88.9 million for technical police service programs. The state gave $27.7 million for a SAFE Act database last year, according to news reports …”
“There is a reason the Senator quoted by the Post wants to remain anonymous,” King said. “Their statement is an easily provable falsehood. This is classic Albany politics: Tell their constituents one thing and do the exact opposite in the legislature and hope nobody notices the difference.”