One day after Senate lawmakers sparred over rules changes, Senate Minority Leader John Sampson, D-Brooklyn, is sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos complaining that the proposals were not presented in a timely matter.
From the letter:
While the rules changes proposed by Senate Republicans on January 25, 2011 were apparently few in number, in our judgment their impact is profound. I am therefore deeply troubled by the lack of notice from Senate Republicans, and the subsequent attempt to ram this permanent rules resolution through committee and to the floor.
The Majority may Rule, but in a deliberative democratic process, the Minority still has Rights. I am concerned about the precedent these attempted actions may create in our body, and I am concerned about the signal this attempt to rush things sends to the public.
Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday they had not received enough time to study the rules changes, which GOP legislators dismissed as minor alterations. However, Democrats point to one of the rule changes disallowing the lieutenant governor from casting a vote for the majority leader in the event of a tie. They also say a new committee is being created solely so that Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, the leader of a breakaway faction of Democrats, would be named chairman and receive a $12,500 stipend.
The rules changes were defeated in committee following a lively and long meeting off the floor. Here’s the full letter: