Miller, Colleagues Propose Reforms To Assembly Procedures

Increased transparency, term limits would benefit all of New York state
February 13, 2018

Today, Assemblyman Brian Miller (R,I-New Hartford) and members of the Assembly Minority Conference put forth a comprehensive rules reform package to increase transparency in the Assembly, institute term limits for leadership and allow good legislation to come to the floor for a vote more frequently. Unfortunately for New York state residents, the reforms were summarily rejected by Assembly Majority without so much as a discussion about the positive ways the proposed actions would benefit the state.

“No legislative body is perfect,” said Miller. “We can always introduce better ways of doing things that have a positive impact on the state. For Assembly Majority to repeatedly reject these reforms, every year, inferring that the Assembly isn’t in need of change, is wrong. Refusing to improve the way ‘The People’s House’ handles the people’s business is an injustice to the state and its taxpayers.”

In all, the Assembly Minority submitted 14 rules reform measures, including:

  • Requiring candidates for Assembly Speaker to answer questions in open session regarding their background, qualifications, objectives, proposals, etc. prior to selection;
  • Allowing each member to bring one substantive piece of legislation to the floor for a vote once during every two-year term;
  • Imposing eight-year term limits on the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Assembly;
  • Imposing eight-year term limits on all committee chairpersons; and
  • Allowing legislation with 76 or more sponsors to come to the floor for consideration.

“Our conference proposed several common sense reforms today that would improve Assembly operations and allow fresh new ideas and legislation to be considered,” Miller continued. “We once again proposed term limits, which is a measure our residents have supported for years, and we called for a proper vetting of candidates for Assembly Speaker. These simple measures increase transparency and ensure that qualified individuals lead the ‘People’s House.’ Assembly Majority should not be running away from these issues.”

These legislative rules reforms were put forth on the floor of the Assembly today as part of an ongoing effort by Assembly Minority to ensure bipartisan operations that benefit all New York state residents.