Sunday, October 22, 2006

Are You and Your Legislator Getting Railroaded by the Rules?

As we detailed in our most recent report on the State Legislature, you and your legislator may be getting the short end of the stick if she is not well liked by Bruno or Silver.

In both the Senate and the Assembly, there are no rules for dividing up public funds for member staff and offices. These funds are, of course, money legislators can use to help their constituents get their ideas and priorities transformed into law.

This is public money, provided by everyone in the State. But it is distributed in a very unfair, inefficient way. For the period of October 1, 2005 through March 31, 2006, members of the Senate (Republican) majority spent an average of $361,143,90 per office, while members of the minority spent $197,390.80 -- an average difference of $163,753.10. Similarly, members of the Assembly (Democratic) majority spent $161,575.80, while members of the minority spent just $109,804.50.

In other words, Senate Republicans were able to spend 82% more than Senate Democrats and Assembly Dems 47% than Assembly Repubs, despite the fact that every Senator and every Assemblymember serves roughly the same number of constituents.

Are you represented by a Senate Democrat or Assembly Republican? If so, the portion of your taxes that goes to run the Legislature is going into some other district's pocket.

Categories: General, Legislative Rules

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