Assemblyman Steve Katz Slams Misuse of “Message of Necessity”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 5, 2013

Contact: Joseph Ahearn (914) 774-6856

From left to right: Assemblyman Steve Katz, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, and Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci

ASSEMBLYMAN KATZ SLAMS MISUSE OF “MESSAGE OF NECCESSITY”

            Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,C,I-Yorktown) joined colleagues from the State Legislature at a press conference this morning calling for the enactment of the NYS Government Transparency Act.  The proposed legislation would amend the state constitution to limit the use of a legislative tactic known as a “message of necessity.”

            “Today’s press conference showed the people of New York that there are still elected officials that stand for ethical and clean government.  The ‘message of necessity’ is a method of political bullying that has long been abused by executives in Albany,” Katz said.  “We must define the parameters of what constitutes a ‘message of necessity’ to prevent abuses of government power and ensure that all legislation, especially legislation that dramatically affects the finances of taxpayers or constitution of our state, can be seen by the people before it affects them.”

 

The NYS Government Transparency Act (S.3498/awaiting Assembly Bill number) would restrict legislative proceedings from midnight until 8am and put define a “necessity” as imminent security threats, natural disasters, or dire fiscal situations.  Because the act would amend the state constitution it would have to be passed by two separate legislatures before being approved by public referendum.

 

Assemblyman Katz is a sponsor of the NYS Government Transparency Act, which was authored by a group of legislators including Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), who stated, “I believe the Founding Fathers had it right when they developed the three separate branches of government to be a check on each other. As I’ve often noted, I once heard the renowned investigative reporter, Bob Woodward, say that the greatest threat to our democracy is ‘secret government’ because in darkness democracy dies.”

 

                Assemblyman Steve Katz has long been a staunch supporter of reforming Albany. This was the cause of the assemblyman running for public office following a long successful career as a veterinarian. Assemblyman Katz has sponsored legislation calling for terms limits for all members of the legislature. He has also called for limiting the legislative session to 30 days and reducing the pay of legislators.
For more information regarding the legislative priorities of Assemblyman Katz please contact his district office at: 845-628-3781.  The assemblyman can also be reached at his Assembly email: katzs@assembly.state.ny.us.

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