There's a NYT story today about all the perks Republicans apparently enjoyed as the state Senate majority for the last 40something years.
There are lots of juicy tidbits in it. Some of them will just make you do a double- or triple-take as a taxpayer, whatever party you're aligned with:
+ The Democrats, now in charge of the Senate, say they're having a hard time figuring exactly how many people actually work for the body -- it could be as many as 1,500 people, but they're not sure.
+ There's a printing plant outside Albany that employs 75 people just to print things for the Senate. It apparently gave preferential treatment to the Republican majority (Republicans got multi-color brochures, Democrats got black-and-white).
+ There's a TV studio on Long Island that was set up so Republican Senators from that area could record cable TV shows. Tom Libous, an 11-term Republican from Binghamton, told NYT even he hadn't heard of it.
+ The Democrats had been getting about 30 parking spots near the Capitol. After becoming the majority, they found out the Republicans had been getting 800 parking spots.
+ After Joe Bruno caught criticism for using state aircraft, the Senate bought a "Brunomobile" -- a $50,000 customized van.
+ And oh, yeah: the Senate apparently has a budget of $100 million.
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.