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This is the time of year when New Yorkers gasp at their bathroom scales, groan over their credit card balances and vow to turn a new leaf.Their bloated, cash-strapped state government must do no less in 2011.Albany lawmakers should start by resolving to serve the people a heck of a lot better than they did in 2010 – a year chock-full of scandals, breakdowns and all-around shameful episodes.In those 12 action-packed months:* Gov. Paterson was rocked by two investigations that exposed rotten ethical judgment on his part – for mishandling a domestic violence complaint against one of his top aides,Michael Kors Wallets Cheap Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Online (34), and for improperly taking free tickets to a Yankees World Series game. In the latter case, he was slapped with a record-setting $62,125 fine.* One former state Senate majority leader was sentenced to federal prison for defrauding taxpayers, another was indicted for embezzlement and a third was hit with subpoenas in a federal corruption probe.* Former state Controller Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty to collaborating in a multimillion-dollar pay-to-play scheme involving the state pension fund – in dollar terms, Albany’s worst corruption case ever.* State Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) was expelled for roughing up his girlfriend. Sen. Vincent Leibell (R-Putnam County) pleaded guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of justice. And Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) was Michael Kors Wallets convicted of a misdemeanor for a tussle with a newspaper photographer.* The contest for the biggest contract in state history – to install video slot machines at Aqueduct – blew up in a frenzy of finger-pointing. An inspector general’s report later implicated all of Albany’s top leaders for bungling and attempted bid-rigging.* Despite a fiscal crisis,Michael Kors Canada Outlet Ch, the Legislature missed the deadline for budget Michael Kors Satchels Bags action by more than four months – eight days shy of a new record for dereliction.Thankfully, Jan. 1 could mark a turning point as Andrew Cuomo takes over the governor’s office promising fundamental change. On the same day, Republicans resume majority control of the Senate after a two-year absence and at least 34 new faces arrive in the Legislature – the largest freshman class in modern memory.On the other hand, 84% of legislative seats will still be occupied by the same-old,Michael Kors Wallets Cheap Michael Kors Handbags O, same-old incumbents with bad habits to unlearn. Key among them is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), who shows no sign of releasing his grip on power after almost 17 years.Here are a few resolutions all must follow if New Yorkers are to finally have the decent government they deserve.Lose weight. Facing a $10 billion deficit for 2011-12, Cuomo and the Legislature have no choice but to go on a crash fiscal diet. They must eliminate as much spending as possible, especially in the lard-laden Medicaid program. Pork for politicians’ pet projects and sweeteners for government worker pensions must also go.Exercise regularly. Instead of rubber-stamping whatever deals their party leaders put in front of them, rank-and-file lawmakers should bulk up the decision-making muscles they were elected to flex. That means working hard at public hearings and committee meetings and Michael Kors Crossbody generally acting like a real Legislature for a change.Cut up the credit cards. Thanks to the Legislature’s bad habit of paying today’s bills with tomorrow’s money, the state’s debt load has shot up 25% over the past five years – to $60.4 billion, or $3,000 for every man, woman and child in the state. Pols must learn to live within their means.Get more sunshine and fresh air. Deal-making in shadowy back rooms is a recipe for government rot. Remembering that sunlight is the best disinfectant, Cuomo Michael Kors Outlet Online and the Legislature should conduct their business in full public view.Remember the less fortunate. Lawmakers should take care that budget cuts target those who can afford to make do with less – while sparing the poor, the disabled and other vulnerable groups from unnecessary pain.Keep promises. A majority of members in both houses signed reform pledges sponsored by Mayor Ed Koch’s New York Uprising campaign. If they’re committed to getting serious about ethics enforcement, abolishing partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts and imposing honest budgeting rules, they’ll follow through.Then, Silver Michael Kors Bags Outlet and other holdouts just might be forced to come around – and finally make Albany a cleaner and better-functioning email@example.com?Bill Hammond’s column appears every Tuesday in the New York Daily News. Hammond, an Albany-based editorial writer and columnist at the Daily News, has covered shenanigans at the state Capitol since 1998. He joined The Michael Kors Shoulder Bags News in 2005 after stints at the New York Sun, the Daily Gazette of Schenectady and the Post-Star of Glens Falls. He lives in Saratoga Springs.