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Oppenheimer's Costly, Do Nothing Session

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Oppenheimer's Costly, Do Nothing Session

July 30, 2010 - 13:37

Taxpayers Paid an Extra $230 for Senator to Drive to Albany and ‘Work’ for 12 Minutes

WHITE PLAINS – State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today blamed Senator Oppenheimer and her colleagues in the Senate leadership for the lack of a single accomplishment in the special session called by the Governor this week. Because of a parliamentary procedure that allows the Democratic majority to gavel into session and immediately gavel out without taking up a single bill, Senator Oppenheimer took a futile, all expenses paid trip to Albany courtesy of taxpayers.

“There is a lot of unfinished business that could have been taken care of – not the least of which being a property tax cap,” said Cohen. “But Senator Oppenheimer and her allies in the Democratic leadership chose to block the Governor’s agenda, take no actions of their own, and enjoy a free trip to Albany at taxpayer expense.”

Cohen noted that in addition to the property tax cap, there were several other important bills on the Governor’s agenda, including an extension of the Power for Jobs program and a proposed budget contingency plan should the state not receive $1 billion in federal Medicaid (FMAP) assistance.

Supplementing her normal salary, Senator Oppenheimer receives a $171 per diem to attend session in Albany and $.50 per mile for travel, meaning taxpayers paid her $230 over and above her salary for the Senate’s unproductive 12 minute session.

“That’s good work if you can get it,” said Cohen. “It adds up to over $1,100 per hour and you don’t have to show anything for it. In this economy – or in any economy, for that matter – taxpayers should not be subject to this type of flagrant waste of their hard earned dollars.”