Contact: Michael Fraser, (518) 455-3751 (office); (518) 859-8518 (cell)
"It's a busy week for Assembly committees - where partisanship prevails and good ideas go to die.
This morning, the Assembly Codes Committee needed just 15 minutes to block 42 Minority-sponsored bills. The committee stood in the way of objective, common-sense policies designed to help and protect New Yorkers. Some of the measures included new crimes and stronger penalties to shield children from child abuse (A.9109, Barclay), more stringent punishment for those who injure the elderly and disabled (A.4480, Raia), and life imprisonment for persistent violent felony offenders (A.2342, Tedisco).
The Governmental Operations Committee blocked seven bills today, including the Public Officers Accountability Act (A.4617, Kolb), which would implement term limits for legislative leaders and committee chairs, replace the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) with an independent ethics panel, and make failure to report corruption a new crime.
Yesterday, the Ways and Means Committee failed to advance legislation that would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 45 percent (A.9102, Kolb), a measure designed specifically to put more money in the hands of low-income New Yorkers.
These are just the latest examples of Albany's dysfunction and inability to operate in a bipartisan fashion. Sadly, for the people these measures were designed to help, it will likely be another two years before these bills see the light of day in the Assembly.
At a time when Albany should be truly committed to transparency and effecting change, the Assembly Majority continues to rely on a business-as-usual approach that is leading New York in the wrong direction."