Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Reform Fizzle?

The Democrat and Chronicle has a depressing article on the state of reform in New York. The article notes that "Reform was an oft-repeated but little-legislated concept at the Capitol this year." Specifially

Good-government groups pushing for a ban on gifts and speaking fees for lawmakers, public financing of campaigns and an independent budget office for the governor and Legislature have found little to hold onto.

The reason? Assemblyman McEneny argues that "too often, the Assembly and Senate pass their own bills that the other house ignores." The obvious solution for that problem is more conference committees -- where members from each House are forced to hammer out compromises between similar bills -- as urged by the Brennan Center.

But more generally, it seems, politicians aren't feeling the pressure they did two years ago to enact real reforms. As the article notes, in 2004

A report ... had dubbed New York's government as the most dysfunctional in the country. A handful of lawmakers lost seats to opponents who ran as outsiders, and a few high-profile incumbents barely eked out wins.

Clearly, if we want more reforms, we need to get the issue back into center of the political debate in the 2006 elections.

Categories: General

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