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In an attempt to change what it says is a "three-men-in-a-room" method of lawmaking in Albany, the New York City Bar Association Monday formed a committee to examine the state legislative process.

"A lot of people think the process in Albany is dysfunctional, that it's broken," Bar Association President Evan Davis said.

Critics have contended that New York's major legislative decisions are often made by just three men -- Gov. George E. Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The Special Committee on State Governance Reform will make recommendations to "open up" the legislative process and create a "fair balance" among members, Davis said.

Davis, who served as counsel to then-Democratic Gov. Mario M. Cuomo and who was an unsuccessful candidate for the 1998 Democratic nomination for state attorney general, said forming the committee was one of his priorities when he became president of the Bar Association.

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