ALBANY – Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) on April 13 announced he that he is introducing legislation to the Assembly that would require any gubernatorial appointee to the office of lieutenant governor to be approved by both houses of the state Legislature. The bill is co-sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R,C – Staten Island).
The arrest and resignation of former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, in addition to the numerous scandals that have entrenched the past four Governors’ tenures, have renewed calls for increased checks on executive power in New York.
Supporters of the bill argue that the systemic corruption and malpractice that has been observed from New York governors is in large part due to a lack of accountability to the state Legislature. Assembly Bill A.8243 seeks to address this problem by giving the legislative arm of state government a say in whom the governor can appoint.
“I am proud to put forward this long overdue legislation,” said Tannousis. “Since my first day in office I have advocated for more accountability and transparency from the Governor’s office. Corruption and closed-door, backroom politics is a huge problem in New York. This bill will bring the process of appointing Brian Benjamin’s replacement out of the shadows and into the state Legislature where New Yorkers and the legislators they’ve chosen to represent them can have a say in the process.”
“Now more than ever, the New York State Legislature must reaffirm its constitutional authority to be a check on the executive branch,” said Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island). “During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we witnessed what power unchecked became, and what we are witnessing now is political expediency at the expense of honest governance. I fully support this effort being led by Assemblyman Tannousis.”