NEW YORK – On May 2, 2022, in Syracuse and Binghamton, and May 3, 2022, in Albany, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), the Republican Party and Conservative Party designee for Governor, and Alison Esposito, the Republican Party and Conservative Party designee for Lieutenant Governor, unveiled their 10 point “Reform Albany” Plan.
Congressman Zeldin and Alison Esposito are joined by supporters in Albany to highlight their “Reform Albany” plan.
Watch the press conference in Syracuse here.
Watch the press conference in Binghamton here.
The 10 Point Plan is as follows:
1. Establishing Term Limits
- As Congressman Zeldin has long been proposing, Albany should enact term limits on the Governor and all statewide offices, setting the limit at two terms of four years each.
2. Overhauling the Joint Commission on Public Ethics/new JCOPE
- Congressman Zeldin is proposing an Ethics Commission made up of 8 Commissioners (4 appointed by Democrats, 4 appointed by Republicans). Elected party leadership at the state capital must agree on their respective party’s appointees for each Commissioner.
- The Commission would have 1 Head Commissioner chosen by the Governor. A majority vote would be required for decisions by the Commission. In the event there is a tie, the measure would not advance.
- Each Commissioner’s term would be for 2 years. However, they can be reappointed, and vacancies may be filled as soon as possible. The Commission would have subpoena power and would be able to vote to refer criminal cases to a prosecutor.
- The Commission would also have civil enforcement power against statewide elected officials, candidates for those offices, executive branch officers and employees, members of the Legislature and legislative branch employees and candidates, as well as certain political party chairs, and registered lobbyists and their clients.
- This Ethics Commission would be subject to FOIL, as well as a more robust release of information proactively.
3. Appointing a Special Prosecutor for the Cuomo-Hochul Administration’s deadly nursing home order and coverup
- Congressman Zeldin is proposing the appointment of a special prosecutor to finally deliver accountability and justice for the Cuomo-Hochul Administration’s deadly nursing home order and coverup.
4. Creating the Empire State Budget Office (ESBO)
- Congressman Zeldin is proposing the creation of the Empire State Budget Office, which would be a legislative branch office that offers nonpartisan, objective, and impartial analysis of prospective legislation.
- New Yorkers, including State Senators, Assembly Members, the Governor, and all other statewide elected officials, should understand the costs and implications of enacting certain legislation before it’s voted on by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
5. Strengthening New York State’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
- Congressman Zeldin believes that FOIL requests should move from a presumption of denial to a presumption of approval and the onus should be on the state agencies to detail exactly why requests have been denied.
- There should be stricter timeline requirements if documents are accessible and readily retrievable.
6. Ending the “3 persons in a room” approach to governance
- Congressman Zeldin is proposing the Legislature be required to much more actively utilize the conference committee process between the two houses to organize its deliberations, set priorities, and reach agreement on a Budget, however, it seems that the 3 persons in a room are not taking it very seriously. The first and only public meeting that is on the Conference’s website is a 15 minute long meeting from March 14th to discuss the Executive Budget.
- As Governor, Congressman Zeldin would insist that the Legislature take this process seriously. Specifically, he would offer the Budget Director and other high level Administration officials to testify in front of the Committee so New Yorkers can get a better sense of where and how their elected officials are working for them.
- This would allow rank and file Legislators to get more involved in the budget process.
7. Pledging to be more accessible to the media than Governor Hochul and Former Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin were during the recent budget process
- Congressman Zeldin believes New Yorkers deserve to know what their elected officials are proposing and doing throughout the state, and being more accessible to the press is the first step in that process, especially during the budget negotiations.
8. Providing better transparency across the board by expanding items that are automatically disclosed to the public
- Congressman Zeldin believes that far more documentation of government agencies should be made available online unless they violate FOIL.
9. Reimagining New York State’s websites
- It can be tricky to find legislation and information for both current and former elected officials. The multiple websites New York State has to search for legislation are finicky, causing confusion and frustration for New Yorkers. For example, if you don’t type in the exact bill number, including letters and dashes, it may not pop up. Similarly, if you search bill titles, hundreds of results may come up that have nothing to do with the legislation you just searched for.
- Congressman Zeldin believes we must reimagine New York State’s websites including legislative ones to resemble websites like Congress.gov, which would enhance transparency, education and advocacy.
- Streamline the multiple search engines and create a user friendly all-in-one website.
10. Enacting Voter ID
- Requiring identification to vote is widely advocated for by New Yorkers of all stripes. Congressman Zeldin is proposing enacting Voter ID statewide.
About Lee Zeldin
Lee Zeldin was born and raised on Long Island. He grew up in Suffolk County and graduated from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, where his identical twin daughters attend school today. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and then his law degree from Albany Law School, becoming New York’s youngest attorney at the time at the age of 23.
Lee spent four years on Active Duty with the U.S. Army after completing ROTC and served in different capacities, including as a Military Intelligence Officer, Prosecutor, and Military Magistrate. In the summer of 2006, while assigned to the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division, Lee deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of fellow paratroopers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2007, Lee returned to Suffolk County with his family. It was at this time that Lee transitioned from Active Duty to the Army Reserve, where he currently serves with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In 2008, Lee established a successful law practice in Smithtown, NY. Elected to the New York State Senate two years later, in 2010, Lee’s been working hard every day since to keep the promises he made to the hard-working families he represents.
In the State Senate, Lee:
Led the successful effort to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax for 80 percent of employers, a job killing tax that was hurting small businesses.
Cosponsored the nation’s strongest property tax cap, which became law.
Reduced middle-income tax rates in New York to the lowest level in 60 years.
Secured the repeal of the Saltwater Fishing License Fee.
Created the PFC Joseph Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program to help our returning veterans cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Authored the law to protect our fallen veterans and their families from protests at military burials.
Lee was then elected to the United States Congress in 2014, representing New York’s First Congressional District, and has now won seven consecutive races since 2010 in purple NYC suburban districts, unseating two Democrat incumbents along the way. In Congress, Lee quickly became a leading voice in America on top local, domestic and foreign policy issues:
Combating and defeating MS-13 on Long Island, leading the charge in New York and nationally against cashless bail, opposing all efforts to defund, dismantle or abolish police, and providing law enforcement the resources they need to fight gang violence and other crimes in our communities, including bulletproof vests.
Securing the repeal of many harmful, job killing regulations, with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, and many other initiatives, to improve our business climate and grow our economy.
Leading the charge to end all COVID mandates.
Saving Plum Island, by securing the repeal of a 2008 federal law requiring the island to be sold off to the highest bidder.
Delivering a $1.5 billion boost in border security resources, helping to choke off the flow of illegal migration across our borders.
Introducing and passing into law his Adult Day Health Care legislation for disabled veterans and opening a new health care clinic for East End veterans.
Delivering the Electron Ion Collider “discovery machine” to Brookhaven National Lab that will enable advancements in national security, medical and cancer research, astrophysics, and more and create an extensive number of jobs.
Advancing his law enforcement bill of rights, which would help ensure that our great law enforcement officers and the people they serve are protected.
Championing the expansion of the Dwyer Program nationally, to help all of our nation’s veterans access the resources they need.
Securing much needed support of treatment, enforcement, and prevention for those affected by the heroin and opioid abuse crisis.
Leading the effort against the fatally flawed Iran Nuclear Deal.
Co-authoring a bipartisan resolution (H.Res. 246) that passed the House opposing the anti-Israel and antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
Working with the Army Corps of Engineers to protect our coastlines, advancing the ambitious Fire Island to Montauk Point project, in addition to several other vital projects on the north and south shores of Long Island.
Co-Chairing the Long Island Sound Caucus and advancing top priorities for the Long Island Sound Program, National Estuary Program and SeaGrant.
Co-chairing, as one of only two Jewish Republicans in Congress, the House Republican Israel Caucus, and serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Financial Services Committee, as well as four House Subcommittees.
Successfully resolving over 17,000 constituent cases in favor of his constituents.
Lee and his wife, Diana, reside in Shirley with their twin fifteen-year old daughters, Mikayla and Arianna.