New State Comptroller Will Be Selected By Bi-Partisan, Merit-Based Process

January 19, 2007
With the recent resignation of state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, and a need to fill this vacancy, I am pleased to report that the governor and the leaders of the legislature have agreed to a merit-based process for the selection of the new chief financial officer.

A three member Independent Screening Panel will consist of former New York City Comptroller Harrison J. Goldin and former New York State Comptrollers H. Carl McCall and Edward V. Regan. These individuals will join a public interview process arranged by the Legislative Fiscal Committees: the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means, of which I am a member, and the Senate Committee on Finance.

The Independent Screening Panel is a bi-partisan committee that will choose the top candidates based on merit and experience rather than political party. I believe this will help ensure the most highly qualified and experienced individual will be selected for this position.

The joint interview process, beginning Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m., will be televised, providing an open and public forum for candidates to present their qualifications to members of the Fiscal Committees and the Screening Panel. Only members of the Fiscal Committees and the Screening Panel will be permitted to question possible candidates.

As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I will be able to present questions to these candidates. I am pleased to have this opportunity to actively take part in the selection of our state’s highest ranking fiscal official.

Once the interview process is complete, the Screening Panel will submit five candidates to the legislature for their consideration. The two houses of the state Legislature, by joint ballot, will then select the new Comptroller for the four-year term.

While the definitive power to choose the new state Comptroller lies with the Assembly Majority, establishment of the bi-partisan Screening Panel is a step in the right direction toward an impartial selection process. In order to have an effective state government, it is essential that we continue to practice bi-partisan cooperation. As your assemblyman, I will be sure to do my part by voting for the candidate who I believe is the most qualified, regardless of political affiliation.