A Coup for Reform?
June 11th, 2009

Today, a coalition of good government groups called on the Senate to continue along the road to reform. The coalition, of which the Brennan Center, NYPIRG and others are a part of, call for the posting of records online in an accessible format. Also, they are urging that bills be allowed to move out of committee without the cooperation of leadership. Furthermore, they are pushing for the Senate to allow individual members to bring bills to the floor for debate and vote.

The recommendations come amidst a coup by the Senate GOP, which went into motion under the banner of reform. Indeed, the newly instated majority passed a series of rules changes. Among them is the creation of a “motion for consideration,” which allows for members to move for a vote on whether or not to place a bill on the active list of legislation to be considered.

But it’s up to the acting majority to continue with the rules or not, since they are not law, as Gerald Benjamin, a SUNY professor, notes. “The majority – however it is constituted – adopts its own rules (e.g. There is no commitment to leadership term limits, except the will of future majorities to stick with this rule), and may go back to the status quo ante, or worse,” he points out.

“But it is also possible that the genie could be out of the bottle. Whatever their individual and colelctive motivation, a majority of the legislature has voted for real reforms.”

By on June 11, 2009, 3:45 pm
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