Raia: It’s Time For Reform In The State Assembly

Proposes vast Assembly rules reforms aimed at changing the culture of dysfunction
February 13, 2007

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-East Northport) today advanced a vast package of Assembly rules reforms that will change the culture of dysfunction and provide increased transparency and accountability in the way business is conducted in the state Assembly.

“It’s time to get to the very heart of the dysfunction that has gripped the state Legislature for far too long, and that is the need to institute fundamental rules reforms in the state Assembly,” Raia said. “As a long-standing supporter of reforming state government, the reforms I am presenting today will shake-up the way the Assembly works and will open up the process to all lawmakers on both sides of the aisle while providing transparency and accountability.”

Highlights of the rules reform package include:

  • All legislators shall receive equal staff allotments. Currently, the Assembly Majority receives more than double for staff than their Assembly Minority colleagues;
  • Require the immediate convening of conference committees when bills addressing the same subject have passed both houses;
  • Allow Ranking Minority member of a standing committee to call public hearings;
  • Require fiscal impact statements on all bills;
  • Require any bill that imposes a mandate on municipalities to be specifically labeled on the Assembly Bill Calendar;
  • Require a super-majority (2/3) vote for final passage of a bill imposing, continuing, or reviving a tax.

“The time for reform in the state Assembly is long overdue,” Raia said. “The people of New York deserve the highest standard of accountability in their state Legislature. We have made only small steps toward reform, now is the moment to end the rhetoric by the Assembly Majority and enact these rules reforms.”