Once again, the New York State Senate has passed legislation to designate the wood frog as the state amphibian.
And once again, some members of the chamber used it as an opportunity to belittle the work of Skaneateles elementary school students who have advocated for the wood frog bill.
The state Senate debated the wood frog legislation sponsored by state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who represents Skaneateles. At least one Democrat used the debate to point out that instead of discussing the extension of rent control regulations in New York City — a major end-of-session topic — the Senate was focused on designating a state amphibian.
"This is an asinine bill," state Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Democrat, said on the Senate floor.
State Sen. Toby Stavisky, another New York City Democrat, took aim at the wood frog itself, calling it "ugly."
While the Senate was debating the wood frog bill, former Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who now heads the Rochester Business Alliance, took to Twitter to (jokingly) ask if extending the property tax cap — another hot topic in the final days of session — could be tied to the wood frog legislation.
For his part, DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, tried to put the wood frog bill in perspective, noting that it was an opportunity for the Skaneateles students to experience the legislative process.
After the debate ended, the Senate approved the bill by a 32-31 vote.
It's the second time the Senate has passed legislation to designate the wood frog as the state amphibian. The bill was also approved last year, but did not advance in the Assembly.
The bill will once again head to the Assembly for consideration.