Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-3751
For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2008
Tedisco: Senate Majority For Sale?
Says Speaker Silver, in-coming Senate President Pro Tem Malcolm Smith,
need to "walk-the-walk" when it comes to real reform

In light of a backroom meeting, where some troubling wheeling-and-dealing swung majority status to the current Senate Minority, Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and in-coming Senate President Pro Tem Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans), must "walk the walk" when it comes to enacting critical legislative reforms and true bi-partisan power sharing.

"The in-coming Senate Majority talked a good game about reform, but when it came time to act, they went back to the standard Albany playbook. They cut the mother of all backroom deals to divvy up political power among themselves, anointing Senator Smith the new President Pro Tem. It looked like a bad episode of 'Let's Make a Deal,'" Tedisco said.

"If Senator Smith is serious about following through on the reforms he and his Conference talked about back in 2007, they need look no further than the comprehensive changes continually advanced by our Minority Conference, which would make the Assembly more representative, bi-partisan and productive," Tedisco stated.

"Regrettably, Speaker Silver's record of supporting serious reforms that allow rank-and-file Members a greater say in how the 'people's house' operates is virtually nonexistent. He is a lost cause when it comes to reform and bi-partisanship. Speaker Silver's silence on this subject is more deafening than Marcel Marceau's was. Maybe the newly minted Senate Majority will learn from the Speaker's continued mistakes and disdain for democracy," Tedisco stated.

"It is simply not enough for Senator Smith and his colleagues to offer cosmetic, nominal measures like alphabetical seating for Members - trying to label that as 'reform' is a laughable farce. After the Spitzer scandal and decades of fiscal mismanagement that yielded a $12.5 billion budget deficit, I think we have finally reached a tipping point where New Yorkers have lost any trust that State government will act in their best interests," Tedisco said.

"The Senate Majority could go a long way toward reversing the crisis of confidence gripping Albany by enacting real reforms, like those we have offered, to ensure the Senate and Assembly operate in a more equitable and bi-partisan manner," Tedisco said.

Comprehensive rules changes proposed by Tedisco and the Assembly Minority Conference for the 2007-08 Legislative Session included the following:

New rules changes proposed by Tedisco and the Assembly Minority Conference for the upcoming 2009-10 Legislative Session include:

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