The practice of linking bills is considered by many legislators to be an efficient way of doing business in Albany. We have criticized the packaging of unrelated legislation because it is often used to circumvent the proper legislative process, resulting in backroom deals negotiated away from public scrutiny.
But a story in this morning's Sun reminds us that linking bills is also undesirable because backroom deals have a way of falling through if not acted on immediately. The events of the last few weeks appear to have jeopardized the agreement reached in July on campaign finance reform, capital investments, and property tax relief for seniors. Some officials are also predicting that the awarding of the contract for several horse racing courses may be added to this mess.
We urge the Senate and Assembly to stop playing politics and reaffirm their previous commitment to passing campaign finance reform when the Legislature comes back into session. If anything, the accusations thrown about this summer have heightened the sense that we need to do everything possible to make our public officials accountable to ordinary New Yorkers, not just big donors and party hacks.