senate Bill S401

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Requires the governor to meet with the assembly and with the senate once a month to answer questions relating to the state

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 12, 2012 committee discharged and committed to rules
Feb 21, 2012 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 04, 2012 referred to finance
Jan 05, 2011 referred to finance

S401 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A883
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง170-c, Exec L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S7938, A11207

S401 - Bill Texts

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Requires the governor to meet with the assembly and with the senate legislature once a month for the purpose of answering questions relating to the strategic direction, financial status and general governance of the state.

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BILL NUMBER:S401

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the executive law, in relation to monthly meetings between the
governor and the legislature
to allow the legislature to ask questions of the governor relating
to matters concerning the state

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To require that the governor shall
meet regularly with the assembly and with the senate, to publicly
answer questions from members of each house pertaining to the
strategic direction, financial status, and general governance of the
state.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: -Provides that once each odd-numbered month, from January
through June or during the regular legislative session, and on a
regular or special session day, at the invitation of the speaker and
minority leader of the assembly, and upon agreement by the speaker
and the governor as to the date and time, the governor shall, for no
less than one hour, publicly answer questions pertaining to the
strategic direction, financial status, and general governance of the
state from members of the assembly in the assembly chamber. The
percentage of time allotted for questions from members of the majority
and the minority parties shall be based on the percentage of
representation of each party in the assembly. The speaker and the
minority leader shall determine, for the time allotted to each, which
members of the assembly shall ask questions and the order in which
the questions shall be asked.

Provides that once each even-numbered month, from January through
June or during the regular legislative session, and on a regular or
special session day, at the invitation of the temporary president and
minority leader of the senate, and upon agreement by the temporary
president and the governor as to the date and time, the governor
shall, for no less than one hour, publicly answer questions
pertaining to the strategic direction, financial status, and general
governance of the state from members of the senate in the senate
chamber. The percentage of time allotted for questions from members
of the majority and the minority parties shall be based on the
percentage of representation of each party in the senate. The
temporary president and the minority leader shall determine, for the
time allotted to each, which members of the senate shall ask questions
and the order in which the questions shall be asked.

Section 2: Act to take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:
Public dialogue and debate are critical elements of any
well-functioning democracy. Yet, currently, there is no formal
procedure by which members of the legislature can regularly engage in
open and substantive discussion with the governor on the many
important budget, policy, and planning matters confronting the people


of New York State. This bill would institute such a procedure,
benefiting the public, the legislature, and the governor alike.

The bill will require the governor to meet regularly with both the
Assembly and the Senate, in order to publicly answer questions from
members of each house pertaining to the strategic direction,
financial status, and general governance of the state. Members of
both the majority and minority parties will have the opportunity to
ask such questions.

By creating a consistent forum for polite but meaningful discussion
and debate between the legislature and the governor, this bill will
improve the transparency and accountability of our state government,
and encourage responsible long-range planning for New York's future.
It will benefit members of the legislature by affording them an
opportunity to raise issues important to their constituents which
might not otherwise be heard, to highlight legislation, and to raise
questions about the governor's program for the state. The governor
will also benefit from the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and
accountability, and to set forth and update the public about the
progress of his or her agenda.

This practice is already common in the United Kingdom, Canada,
Australia, and other nations around the world, where government
leaders regularly meet with legislatures to publicly discuss issues
of the day. In the United States, President Obama has shown similar
leadership by meeting with members of the Congressional minority to
debate and answer questions about important elements of his agenda.
New Yorkers deserve the same accountability from their elected
leaders-taxpayers and public officials will all benefit from a free
and public airing of the political differences that shape our state's
policy.

LEGISALTIVE HISTORY:
2009-2010: S.7938/A.11207

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Act to take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   401

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance

AN ACT to amend the executive  law,  in  relation  to  monthly  meetings
  between  the  governor and the legislature to allow the legislature to
  ask questions of the governor relating to matters concerning the state

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 170-c
to read as follows:
  S 170-C. JOINT MEETING OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE ASSEMBLY; JOINT MEETING
OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE SENATE. 1. ONCE EACH  ODD-NUMBERED  MONTH,  FROM
JANUARY  THROUGH  JUNE OR DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE REGULAR LEGISLATIVE
SESSION, WHICHEVER IS LONGER, AND ON A REGULAR OR SPECIAL  SESSION  DAY,
AT  THE  INVITATION  OF THE SPEAKER AND MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY,
AND UPON AGREEMENT BY THE SPEAKER AND THE GOVERNOR AS TO  THE  DATE  AND
TIME,  THE  GOVERNOR,  FOR  NO LESS THAN ONE HOUR, SHALL PUBLICLY ANSWER
QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THE STRATEGIC DIRECTION,  FINANCIAL  STATUS  AND
GENERAL  GOVERNANCE  OF  THE  STATE  FROM MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY IN THE
ASSEMBLY CHAMBER. THE PERCENTAGE OF TIME  ALLOTTED  FOR  QUESTIONS  FROM
MEMBERS  OF THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY PARTIES SHALL BE ALLOTTED BASED ON
THE PERCENTAGE OF REPRESENTATION OF EACH  PARTY  IN  THE  ASSEMBLY.  THE
SPEAKER  AND  THE MINORITY LEADER SHALL DETERMINE, FOR THE TIME ALLOTTED
TO EACH, WHICH MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL ASK QUESTIONS AND THE ORDER
IN WHICH THE QUESTIONS SHALL BE ASKED.
  2. ONCE EACH EVEN-NUMBERED MONTH, FROM JANUARY THROUGH JUNE OR  DURING
THE  PENDENCY  OF  THE REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION, WHICHEVER IS LONGER,
AND ON A REGULAR OR SPECIAL SESSION DAY, AT THE INVITATION OF THE TEMPO-
RARY PRESIDENT AND THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE, AND UPON AGREEMENT
BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT AND THE GOVERNOR AS TO THE DATE AND TIME, THE
GOVERNOR, FOR NO LESS THAN ONE HOUR,  SHALL  PUBLICLY  ANSWER  QUESTIONS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00674-01-1

S. 401                              2

PERTAINING  TO  THE  STRATEGIC  DIRECTION,  FINANCIAL STATUS AND GENERAL
GOVERNANCE OF THE STATE FROM MEMBERS OF THE SENATE IN THE  SENATE  CHAM-
BER.  THE  PERCENTAGE OF TIME ALLOTTED FOR QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE
MAJORITY  AND MINORITY PARTIES SHALL BE ALLOTTED BASED ON THE PERCENTAGE
OF REPRESENTATION OF EACH PARTY IN THE SENATE. THE  TEMPORARY  PRESIDENT
OF  THE  SENATE  AND  THE  MINORITY LEADER SHALL DETERMINE, FOR THE TIME
ALLOTTED TO EACH, WHICH MEMBERS OF THE SENATE SHALL  ASK  QUESTIONS  AND
THE ORDER IN WHICH THE QUESTIONS SHALL BE ASKED.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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