Liz Krueger & Senate Dems Want to Expand Post-Coup Rules

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

By Liz Benjamin

The new Senate Minority conference is appealing to the GOP majority in hopes of leveling the playing field when it comes to resources and bringing legislation to the floor.

Senators Liz Krueger and Daniel Squadron are proposing a resolution that would give minority members the power to introduce bills even if the majority leader disapproves. It would also require each side have equal staff allocations, resources, and member items.

Krueger touted the rules reform adopted after the 2009 coup, which allowed the then-GOP minority access to more resources.

Of course, now that the Dems are back in the minority, they want those rules to go even further, saying the changes adopted in January and June of 2009 were merely a first step forward.

“What we are hoping to do with this year’s changing rules is to move the ball down the field,” Krueger said using one of many references to football following the New York Jets win over the Patriots Sunday.

“We’re very proud as Democrats to have significantly improve the rules of the Senate over the last two years, but we didn’t go far enough. We know that.”

Republicans are expected to introduce a resolution today that would expand the current rules through Feb. 1. Krueger says she wants the Senate to adopt these new rules now before the budget process begins that same day.

Sen. Krueger and her colleagues were also asked about eliminating member items as a way to ease the state’s estimated $10 billion deficit, which they agreed is a good idea. However, if member items find their way into the budget they say those items should be equal across the board.

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