Wednesday, March 17, 2010


As most of you know already, The Ulster County Legislature passed a memorializing resolution to support the latest version of the Belleayre Resort plans in Shandaken. Key word: memorializing.
The Resolution passed with three Nayes and one abstention, but not until the toothless legislation was argued about for 65 minutes.

Another memorializing Resolution that made it to the floor, was the opposition to the State mandating fair wages to temporary farm workers. Back and forth, back and forth.

That wasn't all. We closed with one more. This one was odd. It was a memorializing resolution to oppose the implementation of a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks in New York State. What was interesting, was that the legislation was worded improperly. Sponsored by Laura Petit, and offered by the Services & Ed Committee, the opposition is to a tax on all carbonated drinks. Carbonated! Who proof reads these things?

From an ABC report:
Paterson, with the support of both houses and notably Mayor Bloomburg has pushed for this new tax to help with the State budget, but sites the report, presented Friday at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, which offers a picture of just how horrifying the damage done by excess consumption of sugary drinks can be.

Using a computer model and data from the Framingham Heart Study, the Nurses Health Study and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers estimated that the escalating consumption between 1990 and 2000 of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages, which they abbreviated as "SSBs," led to 75,000 new cases of diabetes and 14,000 new cases of coronary heart disease.

What's more, the burden of the diseases translated into $300 million to $550 million increase in health care costs between 2000 and 2010.

Like Rich Parete, I bring these examples to your attention, because we seem to take more time with memorializing resolutions with little meaning, than with the nuts-n-bolts that affect this county. And to think; I thought the Legislature would be different than the Common Council.


Jen Fuentes said...

I can see why the legislature would want to memorialize being against fair wages and workplace standards for Farm Workers... They were exempted from the Fair Labor Standards Act in the 1930's because the southern Democrats (Dixicrats) that controlled congress insisted that "no Negro should have the same rights as whites" - a lovely debate steeped in the reality of Jim Crow South that can be found in its despicable entirety in the congressional record. At the time it was African American workers that populated the majority of agriculture and domestic work (Domestic workers were also exempted). So here we are in the 21st Century still grasping at justifying laws rooted in our racist past because they have become convenient over the years. That reflects great policy making on our leadership - NOT! I await with titillation the outcome of the vote.

Anonymous said...

It specifically excludes carbonated seltzer water and diet soda and includes sugary non-carbonated drinks. You are exactly right Mike - we should all be asking who is proof reading this legislation and why no one else noticed and spoke up like you. All I did was google this and the headline was diet soda I excluded. What are we paying the Republican counsel to do??

Anonymous said...

You're right, the legislature should get back to more important work. Maybe we can do another resolution to Impeach Bush. Or maybe a resolution to beg Congressman Hinchey to buy us another bridge that we can turn over to the state so they can close.

As for the soda tax.....who cares it will just be one more item I buy out of state. NY isn't getting another dime from me. They take enough already. People are fat because they choose to be, a tax won't fix it. Just like laws don't stop politicians from commiting DWI, Drugs, Domestic Assault, and visiting Hookers.

Anonymous said...

Dumbasses - it's not carbonation - it's sugar content - the tax is on the ounces in the sugary drinks.

ALBANY - A can of Coke could soon cost New Yorkers more than just calories.

Gov. Paterson, as part of a $121 billion budget to be unveiled Tuesday, will propose an "obesity tax" of about 15% on nondiet drinks.

This means a Diet Coke might sell for a $1 - even as the same size bottle of its calorie-rich alter ego would go for $1.15.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, could you mention the picture does not reflect your discontent with memorializing resolutions. Those in the picture were presenting a proclamation designating the week of March 21st through the 27th as League of Women Voters Week. Jeanette

Anonymous said...

Honestly, whether it is sugary drinks or carbonted drinks, who cares. I drink very little of either of them. The real issue is that this would be yet another tax.