"Who wrote it?" Senate President Steve Sweeney joked after the state ballot question passed, despite its absurdly convoluted language. "That's what I was asking... But whoever wrote it should be shot."

I thought Sweeney asked a good question. Who does write these things? This is how the ballot question read:

"Shall the amendment to Article VIII, Section II of the State Constitution, agreed to by the Legislature, which: prohibits collection by the State of assessments based solely on employee wages and salaries for any purpose other than providing employee benefits; dedicates all employer and employee contributions collected for any employee benefit fund, and all returns on investments of those contributions, to the purpose of that fund; and prohibits any transferring, borrowing, appropriating or using of those contributions or returns for any other purpose, be approved?"

Simply put: Should the state be required to use the money it deducts from paychecks for employee benefits (such as unemployment insurance) solely for those employee benefits?

Sweeney's right. Shoot the author. Who was it?

I looked up the Senate resolution authorizing the referendum - which was sponsored by Sweeney.

It included the above ballot question, word for word.

Can a senator grant himself a pardon?


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