Following the passage of budget reform legislation a few weeks ago, Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I-East Meadow) today proposed a series of Assembly rules reforms designed to make the legislature more transparent and accountable to the public.
“We have been successful early this legislative session in enacting long-needed budget reforms,” McKevitt said. “Still, it’s no secret that Albany is broken and in desperate need of additional reforms. The rules reforms I am presenting today will help move my reform agenda forward with an emphasis on much-needed accountability in the state Assembly.”
Some of the reforms presented by McKevitt have long-standing support from many good government groups, including the Brennan Center for Justice, whose groundbreaking 2004 report on the legislature sparked debate on the need to provide transparency and accountability in Albany.
Highlights of the reform package include:
- Empowering the ranking minority member of a committee to call for a public hearing of that committee;
- All standing committee meetings shall be transcribed and be made available on the Assembly web-site and in the Assembly Public Information Office;
- Require fiscal impact statements on all bills, including impact to municipalities and schools;
- Outline mandate cost information on all legislation;
- All legislators shall receive equal funding for staff allotments.
“The last time the Assembly adopted new rules changes was in 2005,” McKevitt said. “It’s long overdue and imperative to make additional changes that will instill a new culture of cooperation and bipartisanship in the state Assembly.”