You Paid For It: NYS Senate Hearing
Updated: Thursday, October 31 2013, 11:16 PM EDT
By Greg Floyd
ALBANY -- You are paying NYS lawmakers anywhere from $79,500 to well over $100,000 a year to do a few things while they are at the State Capitol in Albany. Those things include showing up for the session, and attending various committee meetings and hearings. Important hearings on critical issues are often held in Albany in the second half of the year when there is no session, and that’s when out of town lawmakers are often nowhere to be found.
On September 24th the NYS Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the spousal maintenance calculation. There are 23 Senators on that committee, but only five showed up for the start of the hearing, and a sixth came 90 minutes later.
On October 22nd three NYS Assembly committees teamed up to hold a hearing to gather information on the transition to an Early Intervention Fiscal Agent to pay early intervention service provideres. 49 different members serve on the three committees; only six showed up. Those who were there had no good answer for why so many of their out of town colleagues were absent. We contacted many of the no-shows and got only a few responses, with the handful who did get back to us citing scheduling conflicts. NYPIRG’s Blair Horner tells us the lawmakers should indeed be showing up for these hearings.