November 19, 2004

State Senate report congratulates self for reform

I ran across this while looking to find out what the New York State Senate had accomplished at its press conference yesterday, and to see how much progress New York State Senator Jim Seward had made in the Senate Majority Task Force on Reform, which I had challenged him about at a Town Hall in Dryden in October.

They've published "Making Government Work: A Preliminary Report of the Senate Task Force on Government Reform" (65KB PDF), which "seeks to catalog the tremendous change that already has taken place in the Senate and the Legislature," and includes this lovely quote from Senate Majority Leader Bruno:

"I became the Majority Leader 10 years ago by promising to reform the way the Senate operates and, with the help and support of the Conference, I delivered those reforms. Now is the time to take a close look and seek input on how we can not only update and improve the legislative process, but also to review other areas of state government that can be changed to increase responsiveness and accountability."

Toward the conclusion, in "Next Steps", the report continues its ever so happy tone: "This report aims at setting out clearly the vast record of accomplishment so far, and serve as the basis for continued discussion."

I'll have to go through and analyze the details of this report to see how much of the reform they've described actually became law, and what effect it's had, but the report certainly doesn't make it sound like this committee has much understanding of how broken their institution is. Triumphalist defensiveness and pointing to other people's problems are strange to watch.

It's hard for me to believe that they held a press conference about this document. It's certainly always good to look at the past, but releasing this rosy view of the past before making clear the steps they plan to take to fix the disasters of the present doesn't give me much confidence that they actually want to accomplish anything.

The Albany Times-Union has more.

Posted by simon at November 19, 2004 8:52 AM in
Note on photos