Monday, March 10, 2008

Legislators Should Receive Equal Base Allocations of Staff and Resources

Senate Deputy Minority Leader Jeff Klein thinks Democrats should throw a bone to ousted Republicans if his party takes over the Senate this fall, but a bone is about all he's willing to give up. Liz Benjamin at the Daily Politics reports that while he would advocate generally fairer treatment of a new Republican minority, "Klein rejected the idea of 50/50 power sharing with minority members heading committees and receiving exactly the same in lu-lus and resources as the majority, saying he is loathe to completely do away with the 'to the victor goes the spoils' mentality at the Capitol."

We would agree that the majority in a legislative chamber should have the power to set the agenda, and fair allocation of committee resources demands that the majority receive a larger share. But we've seen both parties in the Legislature step way over the line when it comes to hoarding staff and resources for their side. Members of the minority are forced to try to represent the same number of New Yorkers with far fewer resources than their majority counterparts.

As we've implored the Republicans to do during their tenure in the Senate majority, we urge the Democrats, if they take over the chamber in November, to completely equalize the staff and resources available to individual members and allocate committee resources to the parties proportionally.

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