Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) joined Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) in calling on legislative leaders to hold a vote Tuesday, January 30, to elect a new State Comptroller to fill the remainder of Alan Hevesi's term.
“We are two days away from the governor delivering his budget,” said Hawley who noted that Governor Eliot Spitzer is set to release his executive budget on Wednesday, January 31. “It would be counter-productive if the state’s chief fiscal officer was not in place at the start of the budget process. The negotiations need to be handled with as much efficiency as possible; the comptroller must be involved in order to make that happen,” Hawley added.
Hawley also said the process for selecting a replacement needs to be overhauled.
Hawley says he supports legislation Tedisco plans to introduce to amend the State Constitution that would require the governor to appoint an interim comptroller or attorney general to serve until the next general election. The person then elected would serve the remainder of the term. The office would then be up in the subsequent gubernatorial election year.
“The process of finding a replacement for these offices should be in the hands of the people,” said Hawley. “I am in full support of this legislation because it maintains the integrity of our democracy by letting the people decide who should represent them, not legislators behind closed doors.”
To amend the State Constitution, two separately elected houses of the State Legislature must approve the legislation, with citizens then voting on the measure in a referendum.