Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) has been appointed as a member of a new historic committee that will help the Senate and the Assembly work together to pass meaningful new laws. The Committee on Conference Committees will work with a similar Assembly committee to bring about agreement on major pieces of legislation.
The creation of this joint effort was announced by Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The main goal is to provide the two legislative bodies with the ability to openly discuss important proposals and make recommendations about the use of conference committees to solve any differences.
Since both the Assembly and the Senate have to pass legislation that has the exact same language to create a new law, conference committees are designed to help work out any differences. The new committee that Senator Flanagan has been named to would have the task of working with its Assembly counterpart to make recommendations for the convening of these important bodies to facilitate agreement on legislation. The respective committees will meet separately to discuss priorities and then will convene a joint meeting to discuss their recommendations.
This new committee will improve the current process by providing individual legislators with greater input. In the past, the decision to assemble conference committees was in the hands of the leadership of the Assembly and the Senate. This change will give rank-and-file members a greater ability to participate in setting legislative priorities and provide the public with a clearer view of the process.
"When there are differences regarding a proposed law that will impact all New York residents, we should work together to reach an agreement that is acceptable to all involved. By forming a cooperative effort with our Assembly colleagues, this will assist us in breaking through some of the logjams that hold up important legislation and will help expedite changes that our state needs," stated Senator Flanagan. "By meeting face to face on a regular basis, we can streamline the process to benefit everyone."
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