Impasse Ends; Coalition Wins Key Reforms

James L. Seward

July 10, 2009

 ALBANY, 07/10/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the end of the senate impasse:

“The senate has returned to the people’s business after winning reforms to make the senate more transparent and accountable and limit the power of legislative leaders.  People will benefit from a more democratic, bipartisan institution.

“Immediate action has been taken on 135 bills.  Among the measures, bills that will allow local governments to keep property taxes down and the extension of the Power for Jobs program that will help upstate businesses obtain affordable energy and improve our economy.  Historic reforms are also being put into place that will create a more open, bipartisan and member driven senate.  These long overdue reforms will enable all senators to move bills to the floor and give the public a greater window into the legislative process through the internet and new CSPAN style programming.
“During the impasse I stood firm in the belief that the result would be a long-term power sharing agreement that would bring meaningful reforms to the New York State Senate.  My goal was to restore upstate’s voice in state issues.

“Since the start of the year, upstate New York has suffered as New York City political bosses took over each and every top leadership post in state government.  Their accomplishments include a record spending state budget that was written in secret, $2400 in new taxes on families, higher health insurance costs and an abandonment of our upstate business community.  This had to change.

“I will continue to work with all sides in Albany to bring the best results for those who live and work in the 51st district.  Property tax relief, spending restraint and economic development have been forgotten.  I am hopeful this impasse will remind them that these must be priorities.

“We need a strong voice in Albany speaking on behalf of struggling families and upstate businesses desperate for a change.  I will be that voice, and I will continue the call for openness and transparency in state government that will end closed door deals, rising taxes and out of control government spending.”