Issues: Ethics

Senator Krueger Explains Her Anti-Lulu Stance on Capital Tonight

The latest push for reform in Albany dates back to 2004 when the Brennan Center released a report deeming New York’s legislature the most dysfunctional in the nation. Since then, there have been countless calls for change – from ethics reform, to redistricting reform, to campaign finance reform. Friday, Democratic State Senator Liz Krueger weighed in, calling for the elimination of stipends known as lulus, bonuses state lawmakers get for chairing committees and leadership posts.

February 22, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Calls For A Vote On Redistricting Reform Legislation

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), applauded Governor Cuomo for introducing legislation to create an independent commission to redraw the boundaries for Congressional and state legislative districts, promising to end the longstanding Albany practice of protecting incumbent lawmakers through gerrymandered districts. Mr. Cuomo’s proposal hews closely to legislation introduced and championed by Senator Gianaris since 2005.

Senator Gianaris is the legislature’s leading advocate of redistricting reform.

February 22, 2011
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Senator Rivera Releases Video, Urges Fellow Legislators to Keep their Campaign Promises to Pass Ethics Reform

Bronx, NY – Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) released a video today posted on http://passthepledge.com urging the 54 members of the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, to keep their campaign promises to reform Albany by passing former New York City Mayor Ed Koch’s reform pledge. Senator Rivera introduced legislation that would make it mandatory for legislators to disclose all sources of income in order for their constituents to know whose interests their legislators are representing in Albany.

February 17, 2011
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New York Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Celebrating Black History 365 Days a Year

This is The New York Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Celebrating Black History 365 Days a Year. This tribute is to thank you for paving the way. You can read the document in the embed below or download the file at the bottom of the page.

File: 
The Caucus Celebrating Black History 365 Day

February 17, 2011
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR RUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON ON MAYOR BLOOMBERG

Chairwoman of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus

“Mayor Bloomberg claims activist parents were disrespecting him simply because they questioned his continued unilateral control of the public schools. The mayor’s irresponsible commentary fails to truly address the concerns articulated by parents and students.

“It is particularly ironic to hear the mayor’s complaints of disrespect after Cathie Black proposed population control as a means to reduce overcrowding, and reportedly sat through important meetings focused on her blackberry, not the content of the conversations.

February 16, 2011
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Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins' Statement on Ethics Package

At a press conference on Monday February 14th, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined members of the Senate Democratic Conference to announce an Ethics Reform package which will reform the way business is done in Albany. The Journal News' Politics on Hudson Blog covered the press conference. Click here to read their post.

February 15, 2011
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Senator Krueger Explains Her Legislation on Campaign Funds Usage & Disclosure of Lobbyist Contributions

On Monday, Senator Krueger joined her colleagues in the Democratic Conference in urging the Republican Majority to keep their promise and take action on comprehensive ethics, campaign finance and independent redistricting reform. In doing so, Senator Krueger called specific attention to her legislation (S.3053 / Krueger) that would set specific requirements for reporting lobbyist donations and for the ways in which campaign funds can be used.

February 15, 2011
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State Senate Democrats Push for a Debate on Ethics Package

By Meghan Keneally

February 14, 2011 | 2:02 p.m

State Senate Democrats unveiled a comprehensive ethics package today and called on it to pass quickly in order to reinsure voters that an election season promise is being honored.

Minority leader John Sampson said that the Democrats' six-part bill that will cover a variety of ethically-dubious areas including client disclosure requirements, proper use of campaign funds, the need to eliminate the existing 'pay to play' attitude, and the creation of an independent redistricting commission.

"We need to make these changes because they have lost faith, trust and confidence in us," Sampson said. "If we ask them to tighten their belts, we have to tighten our belts."

February 14, 2011
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Governor Gets High Marks on First State of the State, But More Needs to be Done for Communities of Color

By Senator Ruth Hassell-ThompsonChairwoman - New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative CaucusLow-income and middle-income New Yorkers are hurting from the combined effects of high property taxes, unemployment and underemployment, health care premium increases, and cuts to public services. While it is within the responsibilities of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus ("the Caucus") to protect services and resources for the most vulnerable New Yorkers, we understand full well the immediacy of the fiscal challenges facing our state. We are committed to partnering with Governor Andrew Cuomo to balance a budget that is fair going forward.

February 7, 2011
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Senator Krueger to NYT: Public Officials Should Be Held to Higher Standard

Retiring Nicely After Betraying Public’s Trust

By CLYDE HABERMAN

Guy J. Velella, a former state senator from the Bronx who died last week, was bidden farewell at a funeral service on Monday. His legacy, however, lives on. Among other things, Mr. Velella will be remembered for having turned a career of public service into one of public shame by taking bribes and going to jail for his corruption.

He will also be remembered as someone who pocketed public money even after pleading guilty in 2004. Every year, his conscience unburdened, Mr. Velella collected a state pension of more than $75,000. “The law says I’ve earned it,” he told The Daily News a few months ago. “I’m entitled to it. I take it.”

February 1, 2011
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DiNapoli Seeks Law to Strip Convicted Lawmakers of Pensions

By Cara Matthews

ALBANY -- Public officials convicted of corruption would be stripped of their pension benefit under legislation introduced Friday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

New York has long been criticized for allowing convicted lawmakers -- even those sentenced to prison -- to collect their public pensions. But the state constitution prohibits reducing or taking away benefits from any current official or public servant.

DiNapoli's proposal would skirt the constitutional issue in that it would apply only to future members of the New York State and Local Retirement System who are state or local elected officials, officers and appointees...

January 31, 2011
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When Will We Hear from Our Democratic Leaders about Those Senators

by New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz

Two years ago, Senators Hiram Monserrate, Pedro Espada, Carl Kruger and I formed a group that we called the Four Amigos. We met frequently – not in secret- all believing in transparency in government. We discussed how, as Democrats serving in the Senate Majority, we could initiate much needed change in the Senate to help our constituents. As Senators representing areas with growing Hispanic populations, we knew that our mission was long overdue.

January 26, 2011
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Senator Díaz Calls for Complete Transparency in Ethics Legislation

Albany, NY – State Senator Rubén Díaz today called for complete transparency in any ethics legislation that the Senate and Assembly may consider during the current session.

“When the last ethics bill was considered by the Senate, I was the only Senator who voted ‘no’.

“Why? Because the bill would have required transparency for everyone but the attorneys, and we all know the attorneys are the ones who make the big bucks.

January 24, 2011
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No Reason to Wait: Senator Krueger & Senate Democrats Introduce Sweeping Bipartisan Rules Reforms

For Immediate Release: January 18, 2011

Katie Kincaid | Kincaid.nysenate@gmail.com | 646-784-0485

 

(Albany, NY) Building on their commitment to immediately adopt Mayor Koch’s reform pledge for independent redistricting, ethics and budget reform, Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) Senate Democrats called on all 62 members to join them in immediately passing a sweeping rules reform resolution that would protect historic reforms passed in the Senate in 2009, and take additional proposals from both Republicans and Democrats to create a more fair, deliberative, and accountable Senate.

 

January 19, 2011
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January 14, 2011
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All Senators And Staff To Take Ethics Training

New York Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos today announced that he will require all Senators and Senate staff to participate in ethics training in conjunction with the Legislative Ethics Commission.  The training will have to be completed by all Senators and Senate employees by April 1, 2011."I'm confident that we have built a top-notch team in the State Senate that will work directly with the members of this body to achieve great things for New York, including lower taxes and spending, and more good-paying private sector jobs,” Senator Skelos said.

January 11, 2011
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Senate “Heroes of Reform” Say: Keep Your Promise: Pass the Pledge

Senate Reformers Urge New Yorkers to Join the Call for Immediate Action on Mayor Koch’s New York Uprising Heroes of Reform Pledge

(Albany, NY) - On the first day of State Senate session, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District – D/I/WF) and Senators designated “Heroes of Reform” by Mayor Ed Koch called on Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Senate leadership today to keep their promise and pass Mayor Koch’s “New York Uprising Heroes of Reform” pledge as the Senate’s first order of business in the New Year.

January 10, 2011
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Mayor Koch, Senate “Heroes of Reform” Call on Senate to Pass NY Uprising Reform Bills as First Order of Business in January

For Immediate Release: December 20, 2010

Austin Shafran | austinshafran@gmail.com | 917-417-3711

 

Mayor Koch, Senate “Heroes of Reform” Call on Senate to Pass NY Uprising Reform Bills as First Order of Business in January

“Heroes” Unveil Comprehensive Reform Legislation to Fulfill NY Uprising Campaign Pledge and Commitments to Leading Civic Orgs

Bills on Ethics, Budget, Redistricting Part of Wide-Ranging Plan to Clean Up Albany

53 of 62 Members of Incoming Senate Signed Pledge Before Election

December 20, 2010
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