STATEMENT FROM SENATE MAJORITY LEADER DEAN SKELOS:
"Just over a month ago, the Senate voted to implement historic rules reforms to empower individual Senators and provide them with the means and ability to more effectively represent their constituents. The rules changes were designed to create a more open, bipartisan, transparent and member driven body.
While the leadership changes that we passed have been in dispute since that day, the rules changes we adopted were needed and long overdue and must go forward. In fact, the discussion these last several weeks has focused primarily not on leadership, but on how each member needs to be treated fairly and with respect and dignity so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability. And while the leadership issues may be resolved with Senator Espada's decision to return to the Democrat conference we can never go back to the old days and the old rules that entrusted enormous power in any single leader. Our efforts to build a bipartisan reform coalition were grounded in these reforms and rule changes but resulted from the dysfunction and the anger among New Yorkers about the direction this state was headed. We witnessed a budget that was negotiated in total secrecy that taxed too much, spent too much, took away property tax relief and drove out businesses and jobs. We saw more secret talks on the MTA issue that resulted in even more taxes. Senators voted for the budget without knowing what was in it or how much it really spent and now we face another budget crisis. By June 8th the people of this state had had enough and so had we.
Senate Republicans will continue to be a strong voice for taxpayers in this state. We may be the only voice in Albany speaking out on behalf of people who are sick are tired of more taxes and spending but we going to speak out even louder than before. We sincerely hope that all of our colleagues have heard the message that Albany needs to change, that the way the Senate operates has to be reformed to ensure openness, fairness and equality for all members and that New Yorkers will not stand for any more secret talks, tax hikes and bloated spending."