Ranzenhofer Joins Bipartisan Coalition; Enacts landmark reform to create open, transparent government
Albany, NY – Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer joined a bipartisan coalition to lead the New York State Senate into an era of reform yesterday. The coalition, composed of the entire reform-minded Republican conference and a number of reform-minded Democrats, enacted numerous reforms and brought an end to five months of dysfunction and failure.
“After experiencing the most secretive, behind closed door State Budget process earlier this year, I am proud to join this bi-partisan coalition in order to deliver the change and reform that the Senate Democratic leadership talked a lot about but never delivered to the people of the State of New York. Western New Yorkers sent me to represent them in Albany to change the way State government operates and yesterday began the first day of a new era,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.
The new reforms have empowered rank-and-file legislators and strengthened the committee process by taking away power from the political bosses and empowering each and every member in the Senate. As a result, term limits for Senate leaders and Committee Chairpersons have represented a major part of the reforms. The terms of Committee Chairs and Rankers have been limited to eight years. The Temporary President of the Senate has been limited to a term of six years. The Vice-President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader are now subject to a term of only six years.
“The landmark rules passed yesterday by the newly formed bipartisan coalition will not just begin a new era of reform and openness in State government. This is our chance to deliver on promises that the Democratic leadership made but didn’t keep,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.
The new, bipartisan coalition immediately passed reform measures to create a more open and transparent State government. Under the newly enacted reforms, voting “aye without recommendation” and proxy voting has been eliminated. Each bill must be introduced with a Senate sponsor. All agendas and voting records will be published on the Senate web site. The reforms have also created a plan to create NY-SPAN, a statewide broadcast of legislative proceedings similar to C-SPAN.
Senator Ranzenhofer expressed that Western New Yorkers still deserve more from State government.
“Western New Yorkers have deserved better for a long time. The newly enacted reforms yesterday are only the first step in changing the culture in Albany. State government still spends and taxes too much. Reducing the size of State government through across-the-board spending cuts, providing property tax relief for homeowners by reinstating the STAR Rebate Check Program, and ending unfunded State mandates are still priorities for the residents of our community.”