A coalition of good-government groups released a letter to Senate leaders Jeff Klein of the IDC and Republican Dean Skelos urging them introduce a host of reforms to the chamber to its day-to-day functions more equitable and transparent.

Among the suggestions: reduce the number of standing committees, end voting by proxy in committee meetings, require a simple majority of legislators to allow a bill to be voted on regardless of what leadership wants and open access to the Legislative Retrieval Service.

The list of suggestions aren’t necessarily new. The state Senate and Assembly have been targets for procedural reform over the last decade, most famously after the Brennan Center released a bombshell report in 2002 declaring New York’s Legislature the most dysfunctional in the nation.

Since then, reforms to rules — most notably in-seat voting in both chambers — have come.

The groups write in their letter that they are heartened that the coalition of Democrats and Republicans could foster some changes in the chamber for the better.

From the letter:

“As you know, our groups have long deplored the Senate operating rules, which have been one of the most substantial impediments to the thoughtful development of policy that benefits from the creative input of affected New Yorkers. Your coalition presents an unprecedented opportunity to reform those rules and create a body that is more representative, responsive and deliberative.”

But Senate Republicans, who will not hold a numerical majority come next year, may be inclined to support some changes that allow for a greater sharing of resources and office budgets regardless of minority/majority status should they lose more seats in future elections.

Letter to Senators Klein Skelos