Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bruno, To Stay or Not to Stay?;
Pays to Be in the Majority

Today's Politics on the Hudson blog writes that ex-Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno gave mixed signals during a radio interview on if he'll stay till year's end. If he goes, the GOP edge would be just 31-30. Things might get interesting if Governor Paterson calls the legislature back before January.

Among the many interesting stories the New York Times published following Bruno's stepping down, Nicholas Confessore wrote last week (citing a Buffalo News analysis) that Bruno's largess for his constituents totals: "...more than $3 billion in state aid to the Albany region during the last dozen years, including hundreds of millions in capital financing and tax incentives for businesses." That's more than $250 million per year.

Members of the minority, the Assembly Republicans and Senate Democrats, don't come close to the generosity of their majority colleagues because they have vastly reduced resources in terms of members items available and staff budgets.

Two people, one in each of the Assembly and Senate minority, put the figure at 10% of the monies available to the majority. If the ratio of seats is any guide, that hardly seems fair. The Senate GOP has barely 52% of the total seats and the Assembly Democrats hold about 69%.

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