In Buffalo's ArtVoice this week, Geoff Kelly provides some important comments from candidate Spitzer on the need for legislative rules reform. One key graf:
It’s a cliche because it it’s true: Albany is run by three men in a room. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno determine the legislative agenda in concert with the governor. Spitzer thinks he can change that.
“Whether we’re 50 out of 50 [in a ranking of most dysfunctional state governments] or 48 out of 50 doesn’t matter; the dysfunction is real,” he says. “The problems to a certain extent are the result on internal legislatively determined rules that only the legislature can reform.”
He also hopes to take to Albany a mandate that the Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader will ignore at their peril. “I hope to win,” Spitzer says, “and I hope to win by a sufficient margin that I can go to the legislature and say, ‘This is a genuine statement on the part of the public that we need reform.’ Reform means empowering committee chairs, permitting committee chairs to hire their own staff, which means there will be genuine hearings on bills. Permitting bills to reach the floor for votes so that we can have genuine voting about the tough issues.”
Categories: General, Legislative Rules