Downsizing Advocate Targets State Legislature

July 27, 2010 Updated Jul 27, 2010 at 6:48 PM EDT

By John Borsa

July 27, 2010 Updated Jul 27, 2010 at 6:48 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- Five towns, one village and one county.

All have recently been downsized in Western New York thanks to efforts launched by regionalism advocate Kevin Gaughan.

Next, Gaughan will focus on the largest, and some would say the most dysfunctional government of them all.

New York State.

Gaughan wants to reduce the number of lawmakers in the New York State Legislature.

"It seems to me now that it's time for the Legislature to do what every institution, what every private company, every house of worship, every library, every hospital is doing across New York," Gaughan said. "Adapt to the reality of our dying state."

Gaughan wants to reduce the number of senators from 62 to 50 and the number of Assembly members from 150 to 125.

He said the reductions would save the state roughly $37 million per year.

The Legislature would have to approve a downsizing bill and send the matter to voters in a statewide referendum, which Gaughan said would be held on Election Day in 2011.

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