Senate Commits To Open Government, Bipartisanship, Releases Expenditure Report
The New York State Senate became a more open, accountable, and fiscally responsible body today with the release of the Chamber’s Expenditure Report for April 1 – September 30, 2009.
Data in this Expenditure Report demonstrates the Democratic Majority’s commitment to sensible spending and reducing the cost of government. For instance, in last year’s state budget the Senate reduced spending by eight percent ($8 million) over the prior year’s spending approved by Joe Bruno and Senate Republicans. Democratic senators also spent significantly less individually than the former Republican Majority did the year prior.
“The Democratic Majority pledged a more efficient and accountable government, and the Senate’s most recent expenditure report proves how we have put our words into action. We are holding the Senate to a higher standard of fiscally responsibility than ever before, and are reversing decades of out-of-control spending,” said Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida).
Senator Valesky added the Republican Minority has unprecedented access to central services – services they denied Democrats – including the offices of Media Services, Photography, graphic design, and printing. In 2008, for example, Republicans taped 383 public access cable shows letting Democrats tape just 28. However, in 2009 Republicans taped 62 shows compared to 77 for the new Democratic Majority, and so far this year Republicans are using this central service even more than the Majority, having already taped 27 cable shows versus just 14 for the Majority.
Additionally, the Senate posted the report online (http://www.nysenate.gov/opendata) so all information is easily accessible to the public – a practice refuted by the former Republican Majority during their 40 years of control.
Data also confirms an historic level of parity in spending between the Majority and Minority – a first in Senate history:
· Democratic Majority senators spent $2 million less than former Republican Majority members;
o Democrats spent just $11,281,050 in 2009, while Republicans spent $13,107,501 during the same period in 2008.
· The Democratic Majority has enacted an historic level of fairness in how money is spent:
o The former Republican Majority controlled 66% of members’ expenditures, while the former Democratic Minority controlled just 34%.
o Now, the Democratic Majority controls 55% of members’ expenditures, while Republicans control 45%.
· The Republican Minority has increased Minority members’ spending by nearly $2.5 million, from $6,765,568 for the former Democratic Minority to $9,143,453 for the Republican Minority.