ALBANY, June 21, 2018 — The New York State Legislature adjourned Wednesday without voting on a bill aimed at derailing a proposed garbage incinerator in Romulus.
The bill was a top priority among dozens of local officials and businesses in the Finger Lakes, and it had passed the Senate unanimously.
Supporters of the measure had expected it to breeze through the state Assembly as well — if Assembly leaders called it to the floor for a vote.
But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie did not call for the vote before adjournment.
As first reported earlier Wednesday on this blog, Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester) had received campaign contributions in 2017 for his re-election campaign for the Assembly and in April for his 2018 run for Congress from sources tied to Circular enerG LLC, the company that is proposing the Romulus incinerator.
David Flaum, owner of the property where the incinerator would be built and a major contributor to Republican candidates, contributed $2,500 to Morelle’s Assembly campaign last March. His wife, Ilene Flaum, contributed the same amount on the same day.
Ilene Flaum also contributed $2,700 in April to Morelle’s run for Congress. He is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat formerly held by the late Louise Slaughter, and he faces three opponents in a primary election Tuesday.
Sources said calling an Assembly vote on the incinerator bill Wednesday became more complicated after the bill became entangled in the closing hours of the session with an unrelated bill concerning cameras used to detect speeders near schools.
The Legislature could still convene again late in the year, in which case the incinerator bill would still be eligible for consideration.
Joseph Campbell, president of Seneca Lake Guardian, a non-profit group that opposes the incinerator plan, issued a statement after adjournment:
“We are extremely disappointed that (Heastie and Morelle) held the incinerator bill hostage and that the Assembly failed to join the state Senate in protecting the Finger Lakes Region from toxic incinerators.
“We remain strong, we will persevere, and we are confident that will ultimately kill this devastating project … We urge the Assembly to pass the bill when they return later in the year.”