Legislative Reform


Albany is legendary for political gridlock and secrecy. It's time to eliminate the rules that obstruct change and limit public debate and input. Certain arcane legislative structures allow Senate and Assembly leaders to secure narrowly defined agendas.

My opponent, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has become entrenched in Albany by leaning heavily on his mastery of these legislative rules. As Chairman of the Rules Committee, the Speaker stands in the way of reform of rules that empower him and the Majority Leader to the detriment of the legislature as a whole. Examples include the power to fire committee staff, unilateral control over the legislative calendar, and control of funding for legislative staffs and offices. With these rules in place, representatives enact the will of the leaders rather than pursuing the interests their constituents.

I want to open up the legislative process to allow for public debate and votes on all legislation. I also support changing the rules to require frequent use of conference committees, which should be used to resolve differences between similar legislation passed in the Assembly and the Senate. Today, the Speaker and Majority Leader are given the discretion as to when to convene conference committees, which slows progress and guarantees gridlock. Differences should, instead, always be referred to and resolved in conference committees to speed resolution.

Help end the 21st Century Tammany Hall Style Politics at Boss Tweed's Saloon!

When: Sunday, August 10 3:00pm to 6pm

Where: Boss Tweed's Saloon, 115 Essex St, between Rivington and Delancey

Why: Come join us for a fun party as we raise funds to oust Speaker Silver and end the modern Tammany Hall style politics which are prevalent in Albany.

Subway: F/J/M/Z to Essex St - Delancey St

for details please RSVP to: nicholas@lukehenry.org