Create Bi-Partisan Coalition To Take Speaker Seat Out Of NYC

A Legislative Column from Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown)

The time has come for a new era. While Speaker Sheldon Silver is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the stain of these allegations can never be washed away. The Assembly needs a fresh start, not just a fresh face. A temporary ceding of power cannot, and will not, work. The people we serve, the very people who put us in Albany, will never take us seriously if we do not choose a new speaker.

Sheldon Silver must go. We are now presented with a unique opportunity to form a coalition with Long Island, suburban, and upstate majorities to take the speaker seat out of New York City. For the last 23 years, this position has been held by a member from the City, typically resulting in New York’s boroughs being the priority when there is so much more to the great state of New York.

Now is the time for my fellow members from Long Island to partner with not just upstate minority party members, but majority party members on the Island and from upstate districts. It is time to explore and pursue a candidate that can bring order and integrity to the Assembly and bring to fruition important bills that will make New York State a better place to live for everyone. We must elect a speaker that will bring about proper education reform and proper funding for state mandates while lessening the tax burdens on our residents. If we take the time to identify a member we all can rally around, we can put a speaker in place that will give a voice to the oft overlooked regions of New York.

We need to decide who will be the best for all of New York State: not just upstate, not just Long Island, and certainly not just New York City. I will be outspoken and active when it comes to this issue in my attempt to make life better for our residents.