Sheldon Silver, Reformer

So far, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has sounded supportive of Eliot Spitzer’s reform package, which runs counter the notion that the state’s two top Democrats are going to clash on the issue.

“The reform agenda outlined by Governor-Elect Eliot Spitzer is welcome news to members of the Assembly Majority, who have for years been championing legislative initiatives that largely mirror the proposals advanced today.”

When I asked for the mirror-bill Silver was referring to, Assembly spokeswoman Eileen Larrabee directed me to this campaign finance reform legislation [link fixed].

The bill looks like Spitzer’s proposal in that it places a more restrictive cap on campaign contributions. The Assembly proposal also includes a system of public financing for campaigns.

There’s been no definitive word yet, though, on whether Silver intends to facilitate other of Spitzer’s ideas, like the pledge to open up the budget process by eliminating the fluctuations in tax revenue numbers that the legislature has used as leverage in past negotiations with the governor’s office.

That’s a question, I guess, that will be answered pretty quickly once the new governor’s Albany honeymoon period is over.

– Azi Paybarah