But ending the stalemate might not have gotten underway if it hadn't been for State Senator Frank Padavan of Queens. According to one of the many updates on the situation up in Albany sent out by Brooklyn State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (which were more like mea culpas to the good folks of her district for the ineptitude of her colleagues), on June 30, 31 Democratic state senators sat in the Senate chambers, sitting on their hands because they lacked the 32-member quorum necessary to conduct business.
And then Padavan walked in.
No, really, that's all he did - he walked in.
According to Montgomery, Padavan inadvertently entered the chambers, which by the low standards of Albany actually constitutes showing up for work. According to the Senate Rules, a senator need only be spotted by the journal clerk and they are marked as present.
They could immediately leave the room, thereafter, without casting a vote, listening to any testimony, or even saying hello to the state senator that sits next to them, but the record will show that they showed up for work that day. Keep that in mind next time your own state senator brags about their stellar attendance rate!
So Padavan accidentally walking into the chamber gave the Democrats the 32-member quorum necessary to begin unanimously passing more than 100 major, as well as non-controversial, pieces of legislation.
Now, if this is all that it takes to establish a quorum, why didn't the Republicans take stricter measures? We would have made sure that there was police tape, road blocks, and construction cones around every door leading to the chambers and a big red sign that read "Danger! You Are About to Establish a Quorum!"
Right now, you are probably thinking to yourself, "What a fool this Padavan character, absent-mindedly wandering into the Senate Chambers and giving his foes on the other side of the aisle the one warm body and pulse that they needed to conduct the state's business."
We think history will remember him differently.
We're going to give Padavan the benefit of the doubt, and say that he knew exactly what he was doing when he entered the Senate Chambers that fateful Tuesday. He was taking one for the team. The Democrats get their quorum, and Padavan has plausible deniability with his Republican colleagues: he didn't know he was establishing a quorum, he was just grabbing another cup of that organic Peruvian coffee grown high up in the Andes that we know our fat cat Albany legislators make sure they have fresh brewed every morning.
And with that, New York State is back in business and God help us all.