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What’s Wrong With Albany? Reforming the Empire State’s “Dysfunction Junction”

Tuesday November 2004

Speakers: Jeremy Creelan, Associate Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice; Hon. Thomas Suozzi, Nassau County Executive; Hon. Frank Padavan, Vice President Pro Tempore, New York State Senate; E. J. McMahon, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Moderator: Arthur Browne, Editorial Page Editor, New York Daily News

Mounting public frustration with New York State’s government—and, especially, its Legislature—has been feeding ever more insistent calls for “reform” in the State Capitol.

Criticism has focused on the Legislature’s chronic failure to pass the state budget on time; the seemingly dictatorial power of Senate and Assembly leaders; the secretive “three men in a room” process for negotiating key legislation; and the passing along of costly mandates to local governments. But for all the talk about the shortcomings of Albany, there is still little agreement on what needs to be done about it. And for all the focus on improving governmental procedures, there’s been precious little attention paid to producing better results.