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Ceretto introduces comprehensive Assembly reform proposals


Wed, Mar 4th 2015 05:20 pm

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, today joined a coalition of his Assembly colleagues to introduce a comprehensive package of 17 reform proposals designed to increase transparency and accountability in the Assembly. These measures come in the wake of longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's arrest and ultimate indictment on bribery and extortion charges.

At a time when the public's confidence is at an all-time low, Ceretto said, he considers it a top priority to enact reforms creating an open and accountable government the people can trust again.

Among the 17 Assembly reform proposals championed by Ceretto are measures to bring greater transparency to the state Assembly. This plan includes:

  • Enacting eight-year term limits for legislative leaders
  • Enacting an eight-year term limit for the Assembly speaker
  • Reform the process of electing a speaker by making each candidate appear before an open session of the Assembly to answer questions about his or her background, qualifications, objectives and plan for the speakership
  • Televising standing committee meetings, recording all committee meetings and making them available on the Assembly website
  • Allowing each member of the Assembly to have at least one substantive piece of legislation move from committee and brought to the Assembly for a vote
  • Enacting eight-year term limits for committee chairpersons

Assembly Democrats floated several of these proposals in the wake of Silver's removal from his post.

"The time is now to take definitive action to increase transparency and accountability in Albany," Ceretto said. "The last several years have been corrosive to the cause of improving public trust in government, but we now have the opportunity to reverse this trend. We need to restore public trust by passing this comprehensive Assembly reform package that places term limits on the speaker, legislative leaders and committee chairs.

"I'll be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get it done and pass these reforms."

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