New Year’s resolutions for the New York State Legislature

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Taxpayers would like to add our own New Year’s resolution for members of the New York State Legislature.

For 23 out of the past 26 years, members of the New York State Legislature couldn’t even pass a balanced budget on time.

Adding insult to injury, this is after voting themselves healthy salary increases several years ago, along with all the lulus, bonuses for chairing committees, day-to-day meal expense accounts and reimbursement for travel to and from Albany.

The State Legislature averages only three day per week Tuesday to Thursday when in session. There are many weeks when they don’t even have to travel to Albany, as they are not in session. Many members also find the time to hold down second outside jobs!

How about working full time along with paying for your own meals and travel to and from work like the rest of us?

Why shouldn’t each member of the New York State Legislature provide us with some healthy information in one of their so-called constituent newsletters paid for by taxpayers?

They could tell us how many hours and days actually worked in Albany, detail sources of outside income and amount of time spent practicing law or other outside second jobs, amount of bonuses know as lulus for chairing any legislative committees, amount spent on meals (does your boss pay for breakfast, lunch or dinner during the course of a regular work day?) traveling at taxpayers expense from home to Albany and back (does your employer pay for your commute from home to work on a daily basis?), a detailed list of all their “pay-for-play campaign contributions and record of how they voted on key legislative bills.

How about all those ads from your local state senator or state assemblymember offering congratulations and holiday greetings every New Years, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, Passover, Independence, Labor, Columbus, Yom Kippur, Veterans, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas Day, etc.

Why not practice truth in advertising by forcing them to identify in large print at the bottom of each ad the source of funding?

Are any ads being paid for by taxpayers out of their legislative district office budgets? I don’t know about you, but there are better ways to spend my hard earned tax dollars. Let them pay for these campaign reelection ads cleverly masquerading as seasons greetings ads by using their campaign, local political clubhouse or personal checking accounts.

Most observers of state government in Albany would argue that members of the state Legislature could afford to go on a diet and consume a lot less of their own political pork (at taxpayers expense)! How about passing a balanced budget on time minus the usual hundreds of millions funding member item political pork barrel projects designed to grease the wheels of re-election this year.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

 

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