Issues: Ethics

Statement From Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Closing LLC Loophole

“It’s seems everyday a new Albany scandal rocks New Yorkers’ confidence in our state government. The Senate Democratic Conference has outlined a series of common sense measures, including closing the LLC loophole, that will restore the people’s faith in state government by cleaning up Albany.  I am disappointed that efforts to close the LLC loophole continue to be blocked  and I hope with the remaining time left in session we can finally close this glaring loophole and pass real ethics reforms."

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April 16, 2015
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Legislative Gazette: Senator Avella worried about lobbyists in consultants' clothing

According to the new chair of the state Senate's Ethics Committee, Tony Avella, and a recent news report, public relations firms are playing two positions in the field of government influence.

The Queens Democrat says the dual-role these firms are fulfilling is an ethical issue that needs to be addressed.

A member of the breakaway Democrats in the Senate, Avella, is drafting legislation that would hold public relations firms to the same disclosure standards as lobbyists.

Avella released a statement April 2 expressing concern about the possibility that some PR firms may have extra pull over elected officials.

April 14, 2015
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Capital NY: Avella proposes lobbying ban for political consultants

ALBANY—In light of a report that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has met with a political consultant and campaign strategist who also represents organizations that lobby City Hall, State Senator Tony Avella has introduced a bill that would bar lobbyists from also being political consultants.

“If you're a lobbyist, you can't be a campaign consultant because there's an inherent conflict of interest when you have people who are running elected officials' campaigns and then representing clients who are lobbying that same legislator,” Avella, a Queens Democrat, told Capital.

April 10, 2015
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New York Observer: Senator Says He Will Push Bill to Require More Disclosure From Political Consultants

State Senator Tony Avella, a Queens Democrat, said today he will push legislation that would require disclosure for all political consulting firms that have “substantial contact” with both elected officials and other clients.

April 3, 2015
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2015-16 State Budget Supports Important Programs

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) says the $142-billion 2015-16 state budget provides critical funding to important state programs while controlling the size and cost of government.  The state’s fifth consecutive on-time budget keeps spending within a two-percent cap, increases aid to education, rejects tax increases and provides property tax relief for homeowners.  The spending plan also includes funding for regional assets such as Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the NFTA and Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

April 1, 2015
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Senator Comrie's session remarks on S.2008-B

With a preliminary budget on the legislative table, Senator Comrie stood against voting for S.2008-B, legislation regarding how to implement the transportation, economic development and environmental conservation budget for the fiscal year.

April 1, 2015
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THE PEOPLE’S BUDGET BUDGET EQUITY XXIII

PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF THE GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET 2015-2016 BY THE NEW YORK STATE BLACK, PUERTO RICAN, HISPANIC, AND ASIAN LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS

File: 
BPRHA Budget Equity 2015.pdf

March 20, 2015
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Statement From Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Ethics Reform

 "The Senate Democratic Conference has always been the most aggressive advocates of comprehensive ethics reforms. We look forward to reviewing  the legislation when it is finalized.” 

March 18, 2015
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Senator Krueger, Assembly Member O'Donnell Release Letter To Gov. Cuomo Calling For Summit ASAP And Immediate Suspension Of Email Deletion

New York – State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell today released a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to follow through on a proposed email retention and transparency summit as soon as possible, and to immediately suspend his administration’s 90-day email deletion policy.  The letter also strongly recommends the inclusion of policy experts in the discussion, including Robert J. Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government (COOG), as well as state archive staff and representatives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  

March 18, 2015
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Congratulations to Eric Schneiderman!

What You Should KnowBy State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz32nd Senatorial District(718) 991-3161Congratulations to Eric Schneiderman!You should know that I offer my congratulations to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for proposing a ban on outside income for legislators, as was reported in every newspaper today.

March 17, 2015
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CAUCUS PUSHES 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION PRIORITIES

“Meeting the Needs of Minority Communities during this Budget Season 

New York, NY – The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus led by Chair Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, outlined the major priorities from their annual report “The People’s Priorities 2015”. Standing in support with them was New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), Hunger Action, American Heart Association, YMCA, and other labor unions, advocacy groups, and clergy. The Caucus formally announced their agenda which ensures that the budget and other pieces of legislation positively affect and provide equal access for low income and minority communities. 

March 12, 2015
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Senator Krueger, Assembly Member O'Donnell Introduce Bill To Regulate Email Deletion By State Officials

New York – State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell today introduced a bill to regulate email retention policy for New York State officials and extend existing Freedom of Information Act requirements to the state legislature.  The legislation is based on the Federal “Capstone” email retention policy, which was adopted after extensive study of best practices for handling electronic records.  It would establish strict standards for permanent preservation of the records of policymakers, including statewide public officials, state legislators and senior agency positions, among others, and prohibit deletion of emails from other government officials for at least seven years.  

March 12, 2015
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New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative (Public Hearing) on Criminal Justice Reform

Joint – Assembly Standing Committee on Codes
Chair: Assembly Member Joseph Lentol
Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary
Chair: Assembly Member Helene Weinstein
and New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus
Chair: Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry
Public Hearing: Criminal Justice Reform
Place: Hamilton Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Contact: Juan Gabriel Genao (518) 455-4313
Media Contact: Assembly Press Office (518) 455-3888
ORAL TESTIMONY BY INVITATION ONLY

March 11, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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Murphy's term limits bill passes Senate

ALBANY, NY - While running for office, State Senator Terrence Murphy promised to vote for term limits. This week, he had the opportunity to do just that. Although unlike the Assembly, the Senate rules already provide term limits for legislative leaders, the Senate voted to approve a bill cosponsored by Murphy which would codify that as law and enforce term limits on leadership positions in both houses of the legislature. "George Washington voluntarily relinquished power after eight years," Murphy said. "If it was good enough for him, it is more than enough for Albany. This is just the first step in cleaning up the cesspool."

March 5, 2015
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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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