ethics reform


While New York’s political class has been focused on Albany as it heads down the homestretch for the 2015 legislative session, the US Supreme Court could have a huge impact on both the state’s policies and politics.

Just Two Weeks Left In Albany

Jun 5, 2015

It’s the second to the last week of the legislative session in Albany, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers still have a long way to go before they can agree on key issues, including renewing New York City’s rent laws and related property tax cap. But, as Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports, some items are off the table.

Democrats in the State Senate are attempting to close a loophole in the state’s campaign finance laws, while a new poll finds New Yorkers want lawmakers to take more steps to quell corruption.

Blair Horner: Flawed Budget And Ethics Deals

Apr 6, 2015


The big news last week was the passage of the new state budget.  As has happened all-too-often, the budget was the product of horse trading and negotiations conducted in secret.  That’s right, despite the fact that it’s your money, Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers agreed to a $142 billion state budget and approved it in a way that meant that New Yorkers only found out the details after the fact.

Times Union Website Crime Confidential Blog

  The New York legislature completed an almost on-time budget, around 3 a.m. on the first day of the state’s fiscal year. One of the final pieces to come together was an ethics reform package, which will provide greater disclosure of lawmaker’s outside income. But critics say it does not go far enough.


In January of this year, then-Speaker of the Assembly Silver was arrested for his alleged abuse of power – using his official position to illegally obtain millions of dollars in outside income.  With that arrest as a backdrop, in February Governor Cuomo organized a speech at New York University’s Law School to announce his ethics reform plan.  The governor had a number of options for addressing the central problems that contribute to New York’s ethical scandals, including:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature are considering a  commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget, or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature are making progress on the budget. Cuomo, after a private meeting with Senate Republicans, says he’s closer to an agreement on ethics reform, but the governor is getting some criticism for dropping some items out of the budget, including the Dream Act.


Last week, Governor Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Heastie announced an agreement to strengthen New York’s ethics laws.  At that time, the governor touted the agreement as extraordinary, the “most stringent ethical policy in the United States of America.”

legislativegazette.com

There’s still no final three way deal on an ethics reform proposal at the State Capitol.  And reform groups say a proposal offered by Governor Cuomo and the state Assembly does not go far enough.

The plan by Cuomo and Assembly Democrats requires that lawmakers disclose the source of all outside income they receive above $1000. Lawyers must reveal the names of their clients if they earn more than $5000. They would also have to prove they are actually in Albany, through an electronic monitoring system, before receiving their expense payments.

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