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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jane Corwin
ALBANY — Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, R-Clarence, introduced a series of proposed reforms to the rules of the Assembly today.

Corwin said the reforms would bring about "much-needed transparency and equality in the legislative process for all members, regardless of rank or political affiliation – provisions which the Assembly Majority members were vocal in their support of during their efforts to elect Carl Heastie as the new Assembly Speaker."

“Speaker Heastie was elected by the Assembly Majority for his promise to reform the chamber. However, since his election we have not addressed any reforms in the Assembly. Here is an opportunity for him and his members to enact meaningful and much-needed changes that will benefit every member of the Assembly and the constituents they represent,” said Corwin.

The Assembly Minority’s proposed rules would: allow each member to bring to vote at least one substantive piece of legislation during each two-year term; impose term limits for the Assembly leadership positions of Speaker, Majority Leader and Minority Leader of four consecutive two-year terms; and limit Assembly Committee Chairs from serving in perpetuity by imposing a similar eight-year term limit.

The 17 rules reforms proposed by Corwin and her colleagues would also increase transparency for the public and promote legislative equality among all members. It is their hope that the 17 rules reforms will be allowed to come up for an immediate vote when Assembly reconvenes on Monday, Corwin said.

“As Speaker Heastie himself stated during his inaugural speech on Feb. 3, ‘for years now, there’s been a call for bringing sunlight to the Capitol, and the time is here for us to act. We need to democratize our legislative process.’ It is our hope that Speaker Heastie will give these long-standing, much-needed and meaningful reforms his full attention and fair consideration. With our 17 reforms ready to be voted on Monday, here is an opportunity to bring about reform in the Assembly and break from the broken status quo,” said Corwin.

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