Friday, December 01, 2006

Guest Blogger Mark Bitz

NYS Senate and Assembly Rule Reform Matters

Process matters! The rules matter! Democratic principles generate superior legislation. When feedback from all of the citizenry enters the mix, creative synergistic solutions that balance the needs of the individual community, business, and environment emerge. Everyone wins. In contrast, when the process is rigged to further partisan power and lifetime incumbency, as it currently is in NYS, the legislation is neither creative nor synergistic, marginalizes large numbers of people, distorts free market signals, and generally harms our economy.

How bad is the problem? Speaker Silver represents one of the 150 state Assembly districts, yet earmarks for his district $7 million of the $50 million member item money available for all 150 districts. Silver takes 21 times his fair share. In addition, he uses the remaining $43 million to control the representatives in his party. The rules, which allow this behavior are inequitable, undemocratic, and an outrage!

The NYS Senate and Assembly's implementation of the Brennan Center's 2006 Update recommendations is essential to our citizens and state's future!

Mark Bitz is President of Plainville Farms and and author of Creating a Prosperous New York State.

Categories: General, Legislative Rules

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