Assemblyman to bring to the Floor of the Assembly a Rules Reform Amendment to stop major legislation like Pension Reform, Teacher Evaluations, SAFE Act & state budgets from being passed in the middle of the night
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), today will offer an amendment to reform the rules of the New York State Assembly to stop major legislation like pension reform, teacher evaluations, the SAFE Act and state budgets from being passed in the middle of the night away from public viewing.
Tedisco’s resolution would amend section 2 of Rule II of the Assembly to require a two-thirds majority of members to go into session between the hours of 12 a.m. and 8 a.m.
“Famed writer Bob Woodward once said the worst thing we have to fear as Americans is ‘secret government because in darkness democracy dies.’ In wartime, sleep deprivation is a tool armies use to confuse their enemies. The Majority and Minority of the legislature and the Governor may have differences of opinion but we are not enemies and should not be working in the middle of the night out of the view of our constituents and the media,” said Tedisco.
“As we begin Daylight Savings Time, let’s bring sunlight and transparency to the New York State Assembly and restore public confidence by ensuring major legislation is not debated and voted on in the dark of night like what happened with teacher evaluations, pension reform and the SAFE Act. If an agreement made in the dark of night at 3 a.m. is so good for our state then it will still be a good one to be debated and voted on at 3 p.m.,” said Tedisco.
“Legislators shouldn’t be pressured to vote on important legislation in a sleep-deprived haze in the middle of the night no matter how laudable the goals -- otherwise New Yorkers could be stuck with some very bad consequences. This is not about working long hours. We’ll work as long as it takes to get the job done, but let’s do it right. This is about the novel concept of actually enabling people to read legislation before it’s voted on and passed late at night and to fulfill our role as a check and balance on each other and the executive,” said Tedisco.
“Ultimately, if the Governor and Leaders think that working in darkness is so good for New York taxpayers, then why don’t they hold their press conferences at 3 a.m. instead of the light of day? Clearly, they don’t because they want a full airing of their ideas to the public through the media so they can be seen and heard,” said Tedisco.
“If a deal hatched in darkness is right for New York, then it will stand the scrutiny of daylight,” said Tedisco.