Thursday, February 3, 2011

Real Rules? Too Soon for Senate

Over strenuous objection from the Senate Minority, the chamber adopted its operating rules for the next two years. The mildly newsworthy change had the effect of silencing a meaningful proposal from Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Righteousville, that was squashed by Republicans on the Rules Committee.
Senate Resolution 357 from Krueger would have strengthened the changes made in 2009 after the failed Senate Coup. Those procedures, while meaningful, were still only a semi-success for the cause of good government. Now, though, the rules from Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos represent two steps back.
In the committee meeting, Chair Tom Libous essentially said it wasn't time for these radical changes and also found a way to tie his argument back to the fact the Democrats overspent by millions on their staff when they were in the majority.
Libous added that the chamber might be exploring more rules in the future, which would be advanced through discussions that were agreed upon by Skelos and Minority Conference Leader John Sampson.
Here are some of the highlights from Krueger's rules:
1. Term limit of 8 years for the Temporary President
2. The number of committees would be reduced (I think it was like 32 to 23)
3. 8 year term limits for Committee Chairs.
4. The RUles Committee can only report a bill if it has been on a published agenda for at least 24 hours, unless there is a message of necessity from the governor.
5. There basically needs to be a heads up on all Committee activities.
6. All committee members must be present in order to vote on any bill or matter
before the committee.
7. You can only vote YES or NO in a committee. None of this "without recommendation" waffling.
8. All Senators shall have equitable access to the resources of the Senate
9. No member initiative funds shall be distributed to organizations for whom the Senator or family member serves as a board member or officer.
10. Bills shall be considered for final passage that do not appear on the active list except with unanimous consent of the Senate unless a petition for chamber consideration shall have been received pursuant to section 3 of Rule XI of the Senate rules.

No comments:

Post a Comment