Senate Democratic Leader Applauds Reforms Notes Senate GOP Slow To Embrace Change

Malcolm A. Smith

January 25, 2007

Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith today praised the ethics reform agreement reached by Governor Spitzer and legislative leaders.

"The steps we've taken today will help to put New York back on the right track," Smith said. "I am pleased that the Governor was able to use his mandate to bring everyone to the table and put an agreement in place."

Smith noted that SenateMinority have long advocated an agenda of reform, but have been stymied by the Senate's Majority.

"Just last week, we attempted to reform the rules of the Senate to make it more accountable and responsive to the people of New York. The Majority, however, refused to consider our proposals – even though every good government group and editorial board in the State supported our reforms."

Smith said a possible reason for theMajority change of heart is the political pressure being brought to bear in a Nassau County special election scheduled for February 6.

"The voters realize that the SenateMajority has been the biggest obstacle to reform," Smith said. "That's why theMinority have picked up four seats in the Senate since 2004."

Now, with another seat on the line in Nassau County, the Majority Leader wants to paint his conference as reformers.

"Ultimately, the voters of New York State will judge us by the actions we take and by the way we vote on bills in the Senate," Smith said."SenateMajority may say they are reformers, but their actions tell a very different story."