Despite a multi-billion dollar budget deficit and after passing a State Budget that increases spending by $12 Billion and increases taxes and fees by $8 Billion, the New York City dominated State Senate Democrats have hired 772 new employees between January 1, 2009 and April 10th at a cost of almost $3 million, according to a report in today’s New York Daily News.
“From the moment the New York City dominated Senate Democrats took over, they ran up the public’s credit card with a massive number of political patronage hires,” said State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer. “From opening a Buffalo office full of political operatives, to this latest revelation, the New York City Democratic Senators have been far more focused on recklessly spending taxpayer money to hire their political buddies than they have solving the problems that most affect us all.”
On June 8th , a majority of state senators elected a new reform coalition to lead the Senate. The coalition immediately approved reforms to the Senate Rules that impose term limits for Senate leaders and Committee Chairpersons, eliminate the practice of voting without attending committee meetings and create NY-SPAN, a statewide broadcast of legislative proceedings similar to C-SPAN. Senate Democrat leaders have repeatedly gone to court in failed attempts to regain power. Thirty-one members of the Democratic conference have boycotted Senate sessions for two weeks.
“For all the talk by Senator John Sampson and Senator Malcolm Smith about power sharing in the Senate, this disturbing report today makes it clear that it’s all about power preservation,” said Senator Ranzenhofer. “Western New Yorkers are hurting, and rather that come to work and help us to pass bills that are vital to our businesses and local governments such as Power for Jobs, the Democrats have chosen to boycott Senate sessions. They have put politics before people every time, and that is precisely why I have been supportive of efforts to bring reform to the State Senate.”
“We don’t need a special session, lawsuits, or personal attacks to end this stalemate,” Senator Ranzenhofer said. “All it takes is one Senate Democrat to end his or her boycott, come back to work and enter the Senate Chamber on Monday afternoon and we can move forward with governing and doing the people’s business.”