Bill S7938-2009

Requires the governor to meet with the assembly and with the senate once a month to answer questions relating to the state

Requires the governor to meet with the assembly and with the senate legislature once a month for the purpose of answering questions relating to the strategic direction, financial status and general governance of the state.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 15, 2010: referred to governmental operations
  • Jun 15, 2010: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 15, 2010: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 10, 2010: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Jun 9, 2010: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Jun 8, 2010: 1ST REPORT CAL.804
  • May 25, 2010: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Votes

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7938

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to monthly meetings between the governor and the legislature to allow the legislature to ask questions of the governor relating to matters concerning the state

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To require that the governor shall meet regularly with the assembly and with the senate, to publicly answer questions from members of each house pertaining to the strategic direction, financial status, and general governance of the state.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: -Provides that once each odd-numbered month, from January through June or during the regular legislative session, and on a regular or special session day, at the invitation of the speaker and minority leader of the assembly, and upon agreement by the speaker and the governor as to the date and time, the governor shall, for no less than one hour, publicly answer questions pertaining to the strategic direction, financial status, and general governance of the state from members of the assembly in the assembly chamber. The percentage of time allotted for questions from members of the majority and the minority parties shall be based on the percentage of representation of each party in the assembly. The speaker and the minority leader shall determine, for the time allotted to each, which members of the assembly shall ask questions and the order in which the questions shall be asked.

- Provides that once each even-numbered month, from January through June or during the regular legislative session, and on a regular or special session day, at the invitation of the temporary president and minority leader of the senate, and upon agreement by the temporary president and the governor as to the date and time, the governor shall, for no less than one hour, publicly answer questions pertaining to the strategic direction, financial status, and general governance of the state from members of the senate in the senate chamber. The percentage of time allotted for questions from members of the majority and the minority parties shall be based on the percentage of representation of each party in the senate. The temporary president and the minority leader shall determine, for the time allotted to each, which members of the senate shall ask questions and the order in which the questions shall be asked.

Section 2: Act to take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION: Public dialogue and debate are critical elements of any well-functioning democracy. Yet, currently, there is no formal procedure by which members of the legislature can regularly engage in open and substantive discussion with the governor on the many important budget, policy, and planning matters confronting the people

of New York State. This bill would institute such a procedure, benefiting the public, the legislature, and the governor alike.

The bill will require the governor to meet regularly with both the Assembly and the Senate, in order to publicly answer questions from members of each house pertaining to the strategic direction, financial status, and general governance of the state. Members of both the majority and minority parties will have the opportunity to ask such questions.

By creating a consistent forum for polite but meaningful discussion and debate between the legislature and the governor, this bill will improve the transparency and accountability of our state government, and encourage responsible long-range planning for New York's future. It will benefit members of the legislature by affording them an opportunity to raise issues important to their constituents which might not otherwise be heard, to highlight legislation, and to raise questions about the governor's program for the state. The governor will also benefit from the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and accountability, and to set forth and update the public about the progress of his or her agenda.

This practice is already common in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other nations around the world, where government leaders regularly meet with legislatures to publicly discuss issues of the day. In the United States, President Obama has shown similar leadership by meeting with members of the Congressional minority to debate and answer questions about important elements of his agenda. New Yorkers deserve the same accountability from their elected leaders-taxpayers and public officials will all benefit from a free and public airing of the political differences that shape our state's policy.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Act to take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7938 IN SENATE May 25, 2010 ___________
Introduced by Sen. KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to monthly meetings between the governor and the legislature to allow the legislature to ask questions of the governor relating to matters concerning the state THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 170-c to read as follows: S 170-C. JOINT MEETING OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE ASSEMBLY; JOINT MEETING OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE SENATE. 1. ONCE EACH ODD-NUMBERED MONTH, FROM JANUARY THROUGH JUNE OR DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION, WHICHEVER IS LONGER, AND ON A REGULAR OR SPECIAL SESSION DAY, AT THE INVITATION OF THE SPEAKER AND MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND UPON AGREEMENT BY THE SPEAKER AND THE GOVERNOR AS TO THE DATE AND TIME, THE GOVERNOR, FOR NO LESS THAN ONE HOUR, SHALL PUBLICLY ANSWER QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THE STRATEGIC DIRECTION, FINANCIAL STATUS AND GENERAL GOVERNANCE OF THE STATE FROM MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER. THE PERCENTAGE OF TIME ALLOTTED FOR QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY PARTIES SHALL BE ALLOTTED BASED ON THE PERCENTAGE OF REPRESENTATION OF EACH PARTY IN THE ASSEMBLY. THE SPEAKER AND THE MINORITY LEADER SHALL DETERMINE, FOR THE TIME ALLOTTED TO EACH, WHICH MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL ASK QUESTIONS AND THE ORDER IN WHICH THE QUESTIONS SHALL BE ASKED. 2. ONCE EACH EVEN-NUMBERED MONTH, FROM JANUARY THROUGH JUNE OR DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION, WHICHEVER IS LONGER, AND ON A REGULAR OR SPECIAL SESSION DAY, AT THE INVITATION OF THE TEMPO- RARY PRESIDENT AND THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE, AND UPON AGREEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT AND THE GOVERNOR AS TO THE DATE AND TIME, THE GOVERNOR, FOR NO LESS THAN ONE HOUR, SHALL PUBLICLY ANSWER QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THE STRATEGIC DIRECTION, FINANCIAL STATUS AND GENERAL GOVERNANCE OF THE STATE FROM MEMBERS OF THE SENATE IN THE SENATE CHAM- BER. THE PERCENTAGE OF TIME ALLOTTED FOR QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY PARTIES SHALL BE ALLOTTED BASED ON THE PERCENTAGE
OF REPRESENTATION OF EACH PARTY IN THE SENATE. THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE MINORITY LEADER SHALL DETERMINE, FOR THE TIME ALLOTTED TO EACH, WHICH MEMBERS OF THE SENATE SHALL ASK QUESTIONS AND THE ORDER IN WHICH THE QUESTIONS SHALL BE ASKED. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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