A push for transparency budget legislation
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)-- Just three days away from the state budget plan deadline, some lawmakers push for a constitutional amendment that would halt legislative proceedings between midnight and 8 a.m.
The amendment would also limit messages of necessity--which allow for the Governor to circumvent the state constitution's three-day age rule for any legislation. Some Republican lawmakers said this amendment is needed to increase transparency of the state budget process.
“We are going down right now the same old slippery slope that history has shown us has not worked very well in New York State,” Senator James Tedisco (R-44th Senate District).
While some Democratic lawmakers said the opposite. They said there is fair transparency--highlighting votes on legislation including the budget are all public record and session debates are live streamed and recorded for the public to watch.
“The idea of limiting a time limit of debate doesn’t make any sense. We just should follow the rules and if there is a problem, let’s figure out the problem but just having these arbitrary restrictions on midnight or 8 a.m., I don’t think that serves the public well,” said Assembly Member Harvey Epstein (D-Assembly District 74).
An amendment to the state constitution must pass in the legislature twice--then it would go to the public for a vote on an election ballot.