Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Senate: One Step Forward

Yesterday, the State Senate passed rules changes, which represents progress even if it was only part of the Brennan Center's recommendations.

The resolution, which expires at the end of 2009 and requires new rules for next year, also created a nine-member Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration that will make recommendations for further reform by April 13. The bi-partisan co-chairs of the Committee (one each from the majority and minority) are a first good sign: Senators David Valesky and John Bonacic. Senator Valeksy ran as a reformer in 2004 after the Brennan Center's original Rules Report and Senator Bonacic is known to have an independent streak.

There remain seven other appointments to the Committee, five majority and two minority. We hope the new majority assigns some of the avowed reformers including Senators Liz Krueger and Daniel Squadron. That would be a second good sign before the business of Committee begins.

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