Fred Dicker in the New York Post writes that Elliot Spitzer insists that legislators shouldn't get a raise until they enact important reforms.
This strikes us as a good idea. In 2004, the Brennan Center issued a report that identified many of the Legislature's failings and made a series of recommendations for improvements. Just prior to the 2004 election, every politician in New York State seemed to agree that reform was needed. And in January 2005, the Assembly and Senate each passed what they called "landmark reform." We were happy that the Legislature responded to the public outcry over the need for reform, but we were a bit more skeptical about the steps it actually took.
We're in the process of completing a new report that looks at how much has changed in Albany since new legislative rules were adopted in 2005. We can't tell you too much about our findings prior to release, but if you know anything about Albany, you can probably guess (hint: not much has changed). If real reforms are going to come, legislators must feel the heat. Conditioning real reform on pay raises may be the right kind of pressure.
Categories: General, Legislative Rules