Monday, June 25, 2007

Governing without the Legislature

Toward the end of a Saturday New York Times article by Danny Hakim, which details the Governor's "significant disappointment" in his ability to move the legislature toward greater reform -- and in particular toward passing campaign finance reform -- the Governor is quoted as stating that he is looking forward to working without the state legislature:

There is an unbelievable opportunity now to govern through the agencies, and that’s frankly what I’m really looking forward to.

While we share the Governor's frustration, we cannot agree that governing without the legislature is the solution to its dysfunction or the problems that dysfunction has caused. There is only so much that can be done without the legislature -- legitimate change must involve the legislature and the legislative process.

The real answer is reforming the legislature itself -- so that the public and rank-and-file members can facilitate needed changes, even over the objections of Bruno and Silver. That means the end to solutions created by the three leaders in backrooms, and greater power for standing committees and individual legislators to hold hearings and set the legislative agenda.

After three years of pushing for such change, we won't claim that this is an easy goal. But it's still the best chance to fundamentally change the way Albany works (or more specifically, doesn't).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess the Governor is learning that it's far easier to rely on the old ways of governance, than instiuting real change on day one!