Issues: Ethics

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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Democrats Introduce Ethics Legislation Package

Senator Gianaris joined the Senate Democratic Conference in introducing a comprehensive ethics reform package with the goal of cleaning up Albany. Senator Gianaris, who sponsored a bill regarding campaign finance reform, said “for too long the voices of everyday New Yorkers and the candidates that seek to represent them have been drowned out by campaigns that rely on enormous donations from wealthy donors acting in their own best interests. To preserve the integrity of democracy in New York State campaign contribution limits must be dramatically reduced.”

Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal

May 19, 2014
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Times Union Editorial: 'Political posturing' or common sense?

State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk has introduced a bill to force any statewide elected official, lawmaker, candidate, legislative staffer or party leader to file a disclosure if they were in that post "for any portion

May 11, 2014
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Times Herald Record Editorial: Provoke an opponent and we can learn a lot

If you can't win in the winner-take-all Albany arena, at least you can irritate your opponents and hope they reveal a bit about themselves.

May 9, 2014
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Press Release: Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Urges Immediate Action on Tough Ethics Package

Common Sense Reform Legislation Would Limit Use of Campaign Money; Strip Pensions of Any Official Who Violates Public Trust; And Provide Genuine Campaign Finance Reform

Albany, NY – Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, along with her Democratic Conference colleagues, today called on the Senate Majority Coalition to immediately bring legislation to reform state government and combat the ongoing corruption issues facing New York State to the Senate floor. The Senate Democratic legislative package builds on bills introduced during the 2013 session, but were left unaccomplished as Republican/IDC Senators refused to advance them out of committee.

May 7, 2014
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Ethics Reform Package Press Conference

On Tuesday, May 6th, Andrea Stewart-Cousins released a broad sweeping campaign ethics reform package that would clean up Albany. The nine bill package is sponsored by Senators Stewart-Cousins, Gianaris, Breslin, Gipson, Krueger, O’Brien, Rivera, Squadron, and Tkaczyk. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins bill would create a system for public financing of campaigns and increase the requirements of campaign donations disclosures.

May 7, 2014
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Times Union: Tkaczyk ethics bill would close loophole as part of Senate plan

State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk has introduced a bill that she says would close a disclosure loophole allowing outgoing state lawmakers to shield potential conflicts of interest from public view.

May 6, 2014
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Senator O'Brien, Senate Democrats continue to push for ethics reform

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien and members of the Senate Democratic Conference today introduced a package of ethics legislation to reform state government and combat the ongoing corruption issues facing New York State. Senator O’Brien’s bill included in the package would outlaw the use of campaign money for attorney’s fees or any costs for defending against criminal or civil prosecution for alleged violations of any state or federal law (S5094).

May 6, 2014
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Media Advisory: Senate Democratic Conference To Unveil Comprehensive Ethics Legislative Package

Albany, NY - The Senate Democratic Conference will announce the introduction of ten bills to combat corruption in state government and promote ethical leadership in New York State.

May 5, 2014
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AVELLA TO INTRODUCE BILL REFORMING THE QUEENS PUBLIC LIBRARY

The bill will aim to strengthen oversight and promote transparency

April 14, 2014
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Queens Library Scandal Spurs State Lawmakers to Push for System Reforms

Following recent revelations regarding questionable spending and a lack of effective oversight at the Queens Borough Public Library, Borough President Melinda Katz, Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry today announced they have crafted and introduced legislation to reform the operations of the Library’s Board of Trustees and improve the Library’s overall governance (A.9217/S.6893).

April 7, 2014
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Senator Dilan Announces Passage of 2014 – 2015 State Budget

$138 billion spending plan funds citywide Pre-K, increases to TAP and higher-ed opportunity programs.Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) announced the passage of  a $138 billion budget that includes $300 million for universal Pre Kindergarten programs in New York City, new government reforms and increased funding to social programs.“This year’s budget has made great strides to meet new, and greater demands while continuing to offset the gaps left by previous year’s cuts. I commend Governor Cuomo and my Senate Colleagues for delivering a responsible spending plan that spends smart, invests in our students, and offers some much-needed relief for our working families,” said Senator Dilan.  

April 1, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY HAILS PASSAGE OF FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME STATE BUDGET

ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.

April 1, 2014
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