A Democratic lawmaker helping to lead the charge into investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closings says GOP lawmakers’ demands to have greater access to the investigation is “a distraction.”
The Legislature’s minority party has greater access to information and more voice in the legislative committee investigating the lane closing controversy compared to any other committee, said Sen. Loretta Weinberg. What’s more, she says, is the committee has implemented measures to ensure all members have equal access to information.
“I just find this interesting,” said Weinberg, who co-chairs the joint legislative committee.
“When we go into closed session these people are lovely and cooperative,” she said. “I would hope they would not do anything to make this appear to be a partisan endeavor.”
Committee members have equal access to documents, Weinberg said, explaining anytime new documents are received by the Office of Legislative Services they are processed and uploaded to a secure website. Additionally, all members also have access to the committee’s counsel (which, she notes, gave lawmakers their cell phone numbers to contact them).
“I just find this a distraction,” she said, referring to a letter penned by Republican lawmakers on the committee demanding three more caucus members tapped to server on the committee, a GOP co-chairperson and more access to subpoenaed documents.
“We’re seriously unhappy,” said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick.
“It’s very simple,” he said. “How can you call it a bipartisan committee when you unilaterally decide who to subpoena?”
Bramnick recently indicated GOP legislators were hitting a breaking point and suggested they could pull support from the committee. However, the Assembly Republican leader says they have not yet drawn a line in the sand on how they will respond if their requests are not met – saying, instead, they “have to discuss at this point what’s the next step.”
Meanwhile, the committee is expected to hear from officials subpoenaed for testimony on May 6.