Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Best Bad News We've Heard All Day

Amidst all of the excitement of being tapped as the republican nominee for Kirstin Gillibrand’s vacant house seat, Assemblyman James Tedisco found the time last week to introduce four rules resolutions in his chamber, reflecting many of the recommendations we made in our recent report.

Among the highlights:

  • Giving members the right to have bills drafted within a reasonable period of time
  • Limiting the number of bills a member can introduce in the Assembly to thirty
  • Ensuring that conference committees include members from each party proportional to their representation in the chamber
  • Rejecting messages of necessity not approved by a two thirds majority of the chamber
  • Requiring actuaries who prepare fiscal notes to attest to no conflict of interest

All of the resolutions failed, even the one that made the single, seemingly modest request that “Access to rooms and facilities by the Minority shall not be unreasonably withheld and once granted, not changed without consent.”

But it’s not all bad news. Three of the bills had meaningful, if not substantial, bipartisan support. Nine democrats voted for at least one of the four resolutions, and both the resolution supporting proportional representation on conference committees and the resolution requiring actuaries who prepare fiscal notes to attest to no conflict of interest received eight democratic votes.

It may not sound like much, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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