Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua) yesterday called for sweeping rules reform that will bring greater transparency and accountability to the New York State Assembly.
“In order for us to serve the people we represent to the best of our ability, we need to change the way the Assembly operates,” said Kolb. “Transparency and accountability are essential for us to govern properly and for the public to have the most amount of direct influence on the creation of policy and law. This is why I support these rules reforms.”
Kolb, who serves as the Minority Leader Pro Tem, advocated for the following Assembly rules changes:
- Force fiscal impact statements to appear on all bills - in order for all legislators and the general public to realize the financial impact on the state;
- Clearly define unfunded mandates, by requiring any bill that imposes unfunded mandates on municipalities or that would require additional taxes to be specifically labeled on the Assembly calendar before being considered;
- Require Legislators to post their expenditures on the Assembly website semi-annually – providing greater information and transparency for the public;
- Make all committee roll call votes available on the Assembly website – allowing greater transparency so the public would know how their Assembly member voted; and
- Call for the immediate convening of conference committees when bills addressing the same subject have been passed by both chambers – to provide for a more efficient method for considering legislation.
“Whether you are in the minority or majority in the Assembly you are still an elected representative for approximately 130,000 people. These citizens have the right to know what their elected public servant is doing in Albany and these rules reform will allow them to keep better informed. Real reform begins with a more open and responsive government, which is the primary intent of these reforms,” said Kolb.