A proposal would prohibit New York government officials from collecting frequent-flyer benefits earned through travel paid by taxpayers. The bill is aimed at state officials who pocket free airfare and luxury hotel stays based on taking trips nationwide and internationally while on state business.
The bill by assemblymen Steve McLaughlin, Jim Tedisco and Michael Fitzpatrick follows reports that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, may have earned more than 200,000 frequent-flier miles. Silver routinely flies to Albany from his downstate home through Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Silver's staff defends the travel as more efficient than infrequent direct flights to Albany and it allows him to conduct sensitive work. The measure is sponsored by Republicans in the Assembly's minority, so it would likely require a Democrat from the majority to advance.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.