Meanwhile, state sales tax revenue continues to plunge this year with May sales tax collection tanking by 36%. This month revenue reporting will be the real tell for the state budget as June is the month in which the first fiscal quarter income tax estimates are due. So while Albany burns, the Democrats continue their temper tantrum.
But one Democrat is courageous enough to step forward and accept blame for the shortcomings of Malcolm Smith and the balance of the Democrats in the Senate. Democrat Senator Liz Krueger penned a letter to her constituents describing their shortcomings this year. Here is some text from her letter.
I think all of us in the Democratic conference have to look critically at what role we played in what went wrong. I believe that the biggest failure of my conference was that it was not aggressive enough in advancing a reform agenda. From the day I ran for office I have advocated for reform of the Senate’s rules in order to empower individual members regardless of who was in the majority.There is at least one Democratic Senator in New York that gets it - equal resources.
While the Democratic leadership did introduce new rules that improved transparency, made it easier to move bills to the floor, and offered a broader proposal for significant reforms of the committee process, other issues such as equitable distribution of resources were not addressed. The common sense and “small d” democratic changes I have been fighting for were rejected. I believe that many of my colleagues adopted a “to the victor goes the spoils” model, and while I repeatedly argued against this, in the end, the conference was not willing to go as far down the reform road as they should have.
Of course, this is Albany, so the Democrats, have much to be ashamed of, too. They broke their campaign promises to operate the Senate in a more open and democratic fashion. Instead, they used their narrow majority to vindictively punish Republican senators….
I am hopeful that one of the lessons learned from this whole process will be the need to develop fairer and more equitable rules. Every senator, regardless of party, represents the same number of constituents and should have adequate resources. I am an optimist and believe that if I persevere we will ultimately be able to make real progress.