Assemblyman says this week illustrates that state legislature can only work on a crisis basis and spends much of annual session spinning its wheels and not delivering results
Assembly Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today called for a dramatic rethinking of how Albany operates by moving to a 3-month-long session that would conclude with the April 1st budget deadline.
Before the week is out, the Legislature is expected to vote on a so-called “Big-Ugly” package of legislation that includes extension of the property tax cap and rent control, aid to private schools, property tax rebates and a one-year extension of mayoral control of New York City schools – all priorities that were well known back in January and could have been accomplished by April 1st. The last scheduled day of the 2015 session was June 17th.
“Clearly if these priority issues can now be completed in a one-week extended session they can be completed in a 3-month regular session. This begs the question, do we really need a 6-month session or can the legislature be just as effective in a 3-month session and do extensions after that if need be?” said Tedisco.
It costs about $1.5 million to bring the legislature into Albany for a 3-month period.
“The legislature continues to illustrate it can only work (and not efficiently) on a crisis basis and has been spinning its wheels for much of the 2015 session. Everything we are voting on in just one-week during this ‘extra innings’ session could have been accomplished back in March before the budget deadline,” said Tedisco.
“The six-month session has cost taxpayers millions of dollars to bring legislators to Albany and not address major issues during much of that time period. To add insult to injury, thousands of taxpayer dollars are being spent on a week-long extension to tackle issues that should have been addressed months ago,” said Tedisco.
“Any truly important work that’s not completed along with the state budget could be addressed with potential short term extraordinary sessions past the 3-month session closure deadline. The days of taxpayer-funded pontification in Albany with no results has got to stop. Legislators should show up or shut up!” said Tedisco.