Budget, parking, wake: what is Alesp for? – 03/14/2023 – Power
With a budget of R$ 1.5 billion, the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo starts this Wednesday (15) a new legislature with the inauguration of 94 state deputies – 55 re-elected and 39 who had no mandate in the House. The São Paulo Legislative will have a record number of women (25) and blacks and browns (18).
But what is Alesp for? In addition to hosting a Poupatempo, hosting the wake of personalities in its monumental hall –such as Ayrton Senna (1994), Gugu Liberato (2019) and Gal Costa (2022)– and offering its parking lot of more than 700 spaces for visitors to Ibirapuera Park on weekends, the House is responsible for determining the state’s annual budget, overseeing the executive branch, and judging the governor’s accounts.
With a salary of R$31,200 as of April, state deputies are entitled to housing, car and office expenses of up to R$43,700 per month. Alesp’s structure already has 3,300 servers – mostly political indications.
What is the attribution of the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo
Determine the annual budget
Judge the accounts of the governor, of Alesp itself and of the São Paulo Judiciary
Approve privatizations and concessions of state assets and companies
Supervise the Executive Branch
Create, repeal, and modify state laws, such as those governing state taxes
Increase the salaries of deputies and the governor
Another of the most important functions of state deputies is to approve privatizations and concessions of goods and companies in São Paulo.
This issue should even dominate the main votes and discussions in the plenary in the next four years, as it is a priority of Governor Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans), who has more than 60 deputies in his support base. Its main goal is the privatization of Sabesp.
A good part of the projects presented by state deputies, however, refer to street names and commemorative dates. In the end, the House is dedicated much more to approving the projects sent by the government than to voting on the proposals of the parliamentarians themselves.
The competence of the State Assemblies is squeezed between the large number of issues that are legislated at municipal and federal level. A good part of the ideological clashes that mobilize left and right in speeches in the House refer to matters that should be dealt with in the National Congress, such as changing the age of criminal responsibility or decriminalizing marijuana.
Political scientist Humberto Dantas, director of the Movimento Voto Consciente, says that, despite the Brazilian Constitution defining that the powers of the states are those that remain, that is, that they are not defined as exclusive to the municipality or the Union, Alesp has enough relevance.
In number of deputies, it only loses to the Federal Chamber, with 513, since the Senate has 81 parliamentarians. And it controls the second largest budget in the country, of R$ 317 billion, behind only the federal budget.
“The states have specific responsibilities in terms of public policies, such as security and the police”, he exemplifies.
Although he considers that Alesp is less visible than Congress or the City Council, Dantas says that “we can never confuse this with not having power”. “The Executive has the resources, but Alesp has the power”, he says.
The political scientist also predicts that the new legislation will have a series of clashes between deputies, like the previous one. “Alesp is the body that is sensitive to what public opinion says.”