Issues: Ethics

Senator Gianaris Rolls Out Ethics Reform Legislation

(Albany, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris joined Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and several Democratic Conference members to introduce a package of common sense ethics reform legislation. Among the proposals are bills that would effectively ban outside income for legislators, take away pensions from elected officials convicted of felonies, create a public financing system for elections and strengthen financial disclosure laws. In addition, Senator Gianaris authored two bills that would lower contribution limits for campaigns and prevent campaign committees from being reimbursed for legal defense fees.

March 4, 2015
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SERINO SUPPORTS TERM LIMITS FOR LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP

SERINO SUPPORTS TERM LIMITS FOR LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP

 

ALBANY,NY—Senator Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park) announced today that legislation critical to reforming ethics in state government passed in the Senate today. Serino co-sponsored the bill, introduced by Senator Joseph Griffo (R, C, I—Rome), (S. 2722B) which would set into law eight-year terms limits for leadership positions in the Senate and Assembly and limit the number of consecutive years a legislator can serve as a committee chair or party leader.

March 2, 2015
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Senator Krueger And Senate Democratic Conference Introduce The “Clean Up Albany” Legislative Package

Albany, NY – State Senator Liz Krueger and the Senate Democratic Conference today unveiled a major legislative package to deal with the ongoing ethics crisis in State Government. This package of groundbreaking bills will cap legislators’ outside incomes, end the LLC loophole, bar elected officials from using campaign funds for criminal defense and personal use, cap contributions to party “soft money” accounts, and end the practice of taxpayer funded reimbursements of legal fees. The Senate Democrats also introduced measures to strip corrupt officials of taxpayer funded pensions and reform how campaigns are funded. Unfortunately, the Senate Majority has consistently blocked all meaningful ethics reforms initiatives.

February 9, 2015
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Press Release: Senate Democratic Conference Introduces the “Clean Up Albany” Legislative Package

Includes Legislation that Restricts Outside Income, Closes LLC Loophole, Ends State Reimbursements for Legal Defense and Strips Pensions from Corrupt Officials

February 9, 2015
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Media Advisory: Senate Democratic Conference to Announce Major Ethics Plan and a Cap On Outside Income

Albany, NY - The Senate Democratic Conference will announce a major ethics reforms legislative package on Monday, February 9, at 12:00 PM.   

WHO: Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Members of the New York State Senate Democratic Conference

WHEN: Monday, February 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM

WHERE: Senate Democratic Conference Room, Room 315 Capitol, Albany 

February 9, 2015
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LAWMAKERS IN ALBANY NEED DAVID’S LAW

by Ed Griffin-Nolan - Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

(This may or may not be an exclusive)

A lawyer friend of mine says that whenever a law is named for someone, you can pretty much figure that it’s a bad law.

February 2, 2015
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Senator Gianaris Introduces Legislation Preventing Public Reimbursement to Campaign Committees for Legal Defense

(Albany, NY) Outraged that New York State must use public monies to reimburse a campaign committee for more than $1.5 million in legal defense fees and upwards of $560,000 more to a legal defense fund, Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will introduce legislation to prevent any such payouts in the future. Senator Gianaris’ legislation will amend Section 19 of the Public Officers Law to prevent state reimbursement to legal defense funds and campaign committees for legal defense in criminal proceedings. Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh will sponsor the bill in the New York State Assembly. 

“It is sadly typical in the upside-down world of Albany that public financing for campaign committees only exists for those accused of crimes,” said Senator Gianaris. “This multi-million dollar payout is a glaring example of the desperate need to reform New York State election law, and we need to close this loophole immediately.”

December 30, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Introduces Legislation Preventing Public Reimbursement to Campaign Committees for Legal Defense

(Albany, NY) Outraged that New York State must use public monies to reimburse a campaign committee for more than $1.5 million in legal defense fees and upwards of $560,000 more to a legal defense fund, Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will introduce legislation to prevent any such payouts in the future. Senator Gianaris’ legislation will amend Section 19 of the Public Officers Law to prevent state reimbursement to legal defense funds and campaign committees for legal defense in criminal proceedings. Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh will sponsor the bill in the New York State Assembly. 

“It is sadly typical in the upside-down world of Albany that public financing for campaign committees only exists for those accused of crimes,” said Senator Gianaris. “This multi-million dollar payout is a glaring example of the desperate need to reform New York State election law, and we need to close this loophole immediately.”

December 30, 2014
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KWANZAA GREETING FROM SENATOR KEVIN PARKER

KWANZAA GREETING FROM SENATOR KEVIN PARKER

 

In the spirit of the principles on which it was founded, I proudly wish a Happy Kwanzaa to the thousands around the country who have embraced and celebrate this very important holiday in the African American community. Kwanzaa, first observed as a holiday tradition in 1966, is a celebration of family, community and culture.

December 26, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Statement on Queens Library Board of Trustees Removal of Thomas Galante

Senator Michael Gianaris issued the following statement regarding the news that the Queens Library Board of Trustees voted to terminate Thomas Galante as President and CEO of the Queens Library system.

"The Board's removal of Mr. Galante is an important step towards righting the ship of the Queens Library system and moving it towards a brighter future. I am proud to have sponsored the new law that made this progress possible for a treasured institution that temporarily lost its way. I look forward to the day when Queens residents can again be proud of our libraries, and today we are one step closer," said Senator Gianaris.

December 18, 2014
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Chanukah is the celebration of Miracles!

"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said.  "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.  After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps.  But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.

December 17, 2014
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SENATOR PARKER’S ANNUAL THANKSGIVING TURKEY GIVEAWAY AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS!

FROM THE OFFICE OF STATE SENATOR KEVIN PARKER (D-Brooklyn)

Contact: Glenda Cadogan ‌‌‌‌‌| triniscribe@aol.com | 718-629-6401 ph |718-629-6420 fax

 

SENATOR PARKER’S ANNUAL THANKSGIVING TURKEY GIVEAWAY

AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS

 

November 28, 2014
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On NYC Human Rights Commission

"I applaud the mayor's decision to bring in new leadership at the Human Rights Commission.  Instead of tackling the thousands of citizen-initiated complaints it receives annually, for the past several years HRC was disproportionately focusing its limited resources on fining businesses for using unintentionally gendered language in job recruiting advertisements," (i.e. posting an ad for a ‘waitress’ or ‘hostess’).

“Of the 53 discrimination settlements reported by the Commission in 2014, 18, or more than a third of all settlements, are for this sort of case.  Of those 18, only two appear to have been tested to show actual discriminatory intent. There is a similar pattern in 2012 and 2013, where employment ads allegedly showing gender discrimination made up 40% and 30% of total settlements respectively and only a few were tested to prove actual discriminatory intent.

"Many of the cases don’t come out of actual complaints, but rather from college students getting paid by HRC to troll on-line classifieds. 

"It is extremely troubling that this kind of questionable case comprises a third or more of the Commission’s enforcement output when so many complaints of actual discrimination go unanswered.

“New Yorkers expect and deserve a Human Rights Commission that helps bring justice to those who have been wronged, not one focused on generating revenue through petty fines.”

-30-

November 7, 2014
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New York Times Coverage of the Queens Library Scandal

The New York Times took an in-depth look at the Queens Library scandal and Senator Gianaris' work towards reform. Chek out the full article here

 

October 10, 2014
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Senator Hoylman Applauds Preet Bharara for Scoring Victory in Campaign to Capture Pensions of Corrupt Politicians

Renews Call for Passage of His Legislation to Make Pension Reduction or Forfeiture Mandatory and Automatic for All Elected Officials Convicted of Felony Corruption

August 29, 2014
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Senator O’Brien, women’s rights advocates announce bill to minimize harmful impact of Hobby Lobby decision

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien, joined by leading women’s rights advocates from the Rochester and Finger Lakes region, announced his co-sponsorship of legislation that would require employers to notify their employees before changing their insurance plans to restrict access to contraception. The bill comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision allowing corporations to exclude certain forms of contraception from their health care coverage.

August 18, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Statement on Governor Cuomo Signing Queens Library Reform Into Law

Senator Michael Gianaris released the following statement in light of Governor Cuomo signing the Gianaris/Aubry Queens Library Reform Bill (S.6893-B) into law.

June 26, 2014
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Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014
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Gianaris/Aubry Library Reform Bill Passes Senate With Overwhelming Support

(Albany, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris hailed the Senate passage of the Gianaris/Aubry Queens Library Reform Bill (S.6893-B), which will now move to the desk of Governor Cuomo, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

“I am thrilled the Senate so overwhelmingly passed my bill and look forward to it becoming law so we can end the abuses that plagued our library system,” said Senator Gianaris. “Once enacted, my bill will rein in the excesses revealed in recent reports and provide a long-term blueprint for an efficient, transparent and accountable library system of which every Queens resident can be proud. I am thankful for  the way just about everyone in Queens came together to fight for these much-needed reforms, which says a lot about our borough’s desire for transparency and accountability when it comes to public funds.”

June 20, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #21: Putting More Truth in Advertising

Here’s a straightforward, but deceptively hard question: You’re deciding between two doctors for your upcoming heart surgery. One has advertised as being “board certified” by the American Academy of Cardiology. The other, you learn, was certified by the American College of Cardiology. Which one would you trust with the scalpel? (The answer is at the end of this column.)

If you’re hemming and hawing about your answer, take comfort. You are not alone. It is so easy to get confused about the qualifications of medical professionals – and your life may depend on it.

I believe the medical profession needs more truth in its advertising. I’ve introduced a bill that would protect the patient by implementing four small changes.

May 22, 2014
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