Malliotakis Slams Assembly Preservation Of Status Quo

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I) participates in today’s press conference held by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua).

Today, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island) and members of the Assembly Minority Conference re-introduced a package of meaningful Assembly Rules reform proposals that were taken up for an immediate floor vote. The proposals introduced would restore fairness, accountability and transparency to the legislative process in its entirety.

Unfortunately, rather than joining the fight to restore good government for the people of New York, a majority of members chose to reject the non-partisan measures. A handful of Assembly Majority Conference members bravely broke from their conference and voted for some of the reforms including requiring committee votes to be accessible to the public and webcasting of Assembly committee meetings, which were introduced by Assemblywoman Malliotakis.

"These are 17 meaningful, common-sense, and non-partisan reforms that would greatly improve the Assembly legislative process and better serve our constituents,” said Malliotakis. “It makes no sense to me that my colleagues tout their advocacy for a better government back home and in the press, and yet, they reject these critical reforms in Albany when they are presented. These votes are a clear indication of who is in support of real reform and who continues to support and enable the status quo.”

“Too few have had too much power for too long – and the results have been disastrous,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua). “The governor and Assembly Majority have spent a lot of time talking about change, but have yet to prove their commitment to reform. As we begin 2016, we must immediately overhaul the way we conduct ourselves. Without the trust of the people we represent, we cannot fulfill our obligations as lawmakers. We owe it to those who elected us to represent them.”

The Assembly Minority Conference introduced 17 proposals that would restructure the Assembly process. As part of the reform package, Malliotakis introduced a measure which would grant greater public access to the committee process, as it is a vital portion of Assembly operations. The proposed resolution would increase transparency by requiring that committee roll calls be available to the public via web postings and public broadcasting of committee meetings.

The non-partisan proposals that would improve state government and help representatives to better serve their constituents include:

  • In the case of a vacancy, allowing each candidate for Speaker to be available to answer questions in open session about the candidate’s qualifications, background, experience, objectives, plans, and proposals.
  • Allowing each member two minutes to explain his or her vote for Speaker. Impose eight-year term limits on the Speaker of the Assembly. (E.839)
  • Requiring a two-thirds vote of all members elected to the Assembly when session extends beyond the eight-hour limit or after midnight. (E.836)
  • Allowing each member of the Legislature, during each two-year term, to bring one substantive piece of legislation of his or her choosing to the floor for a vote. (E.845)
  • Requiring equal funding for every member’s individual office, regardless of party affiliation or seniority. (E.838)
  • Requiring a roll call of each floor amendment considered to be made available electronically within 24 hours of the vote. (E.846)
  • Allowing one-third of the members of a committee to petition for a hearing on a bill or an oversight hearing. (E.841)
  • Imposing eight-year term limits on the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Assembly. (E.840)
  • Requiring committee roll calls to be made available electronically.
  • Requiring all standing committees to be recorded and webcast live and made available on the Assembly website when practicable. (E.837)
  • Imposing eight-year term limits on committee chairs. (E.844)
  • Declaring a motion to discharge to be in order if the bill or resolution is sponsored by at least 76 members of the Assembly or by a vote of the majority of all members of the Assembly.
  • Requiring a roll call of each motion to discharge considered to be made available electronically within 24 hours of the vote. (E.843)
  • Providing that the number of majority members on a standing committee be in the same ratio as the majority members of the Assembly are to the entire membership of the Assembly. (E.834)
  • Requiring a two-thirds majority vote for Messages of Necessity submitted by the governor to be accepted. (E.842)
  • Requiring resolutions to age three days prior to a vote unless the Speaker and the Minority Leader waive this rule. (E.835)