Of course, there was no emergency. It was just another sleazy maneuver used to ram through the casino bill in order to avoid public debate or scrutiny. From the start, the casino bill was crafted in the dark. Changes were made along the way after numerous closed-door meetings with lawmakers and lobbyists. And of course, after gambling interests spent millions of dollars on campaign contributions.
Cuomo had promised not use to the much-criticized emergency tactic that enabled lawmakers to avoid the required three-day waiting period. The provision is there to give lawmakers time to analyze measures before they vote. Instead, Cuomo and lawmakers decided to use the “message of necessity orders” because the session was coming to an end and they did not want to stay in Albany. (Maybe everyone needed a shower.)
Cuomo said the last-minute changes to the bill were minor and technical and did not change the substance of the measure. Critics didn’t buy that excuse.
“Regardless of the level of significance of the individual changes, the bills as finally approved by the Legislature were not on their desks for three days prior to final approval and are therefore unconstitutional, null and void.” said Robert Schulz, a resident who has sued governments more than 100 times to enforce what he considers violations of the state and U.S. constitutions.
In other words, in voting to amend the state Constitution to legalize casinos, Cuomo and lawmakers violated the Constitution. Then again when it comes lawmakers and gambling, this is pretty much business as usual.