In a letter signed by all of its members, the Cayuga County Legislature’s Democratic Caucus says recent resolutions regarding bills from the state Legislature serve little purpose other than to divide the body, while Republicans contend such resolutions allow the county to be heard by the state.
The two resolutions dealt with a bill in the state Legislature that could provide some undocumented immigrants with driver’s licenses and the Reproductive Health Act, which expands the legality of some instances of abortion and had already been signed into law.
The resolution opposing driver’s licenses passed with support from Republicans and independent Legislator Patrick Mahunik. The resolution opposing the Reproductive Health Act was defeated, with Democrats and Mahunik voting against it.
In the letter from the caucus, Democrats said the controversial topics have little to do with county operations, and only serve to foster partisan divides over state and federal-level issues the county has no control over.
“It is difficult enough to reach consensus on our important local issues, without introducing topics for the sole purpose of gaining perceived partisan political advantage or emphasizing our differing opinions on the “hot potato” political topics at the State and National level,” the letter reads.
Minority Leader Keith Batman, D-Springport, said that current Legislature Chair Tucker Whitman, R-Sterling, has made bipartisanship and cooperation a priority, and the resolutions distract legislators from what should be their actual work, like setting policy and law or finding operational efficiency for the county.