Governor Cuomo signed into law new ethics oversight legislation, but some say the measure is flawed, and that there is still work to be done to fight corruption in government.
Cuomo signed the ethics law without fanfare or a public ceremony. In a statement, he touted the new stricter requirements for disclosure of lawmakers' outside income, a 14 member ethics panel empowered to probe charges of corruption, and the elimination of pensions for elected officials in the future who are convicted of a felony. Cuomo called it a "major step forward in restoring the people's trust in government and changing the way Albany does business".
This week a number of Assembly Democrats got a peek at what their new district lines will look like if the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment has anything to say about it. And LATFOR, with legislative leaders, has for decades had the final word on drawing district lines for the state. The process of redistricting was conducted in secret, lines were drawn to protect incumbents and maintain the senate Republicans’ majority, legislators were consulted on what would be convenient for them. The people were as far away from the process as possible.
One analysis of the State Senate Republican majority’s plans for an additional seat suggests that the extra representation would negate the effects of the GOP’s loss in the prison gerrymandering lawsuit. Senators Liz Krueger and Michael Gianaris explain what is happening, and why adding a 63rd seat is unlawful, starting at about 13:30.
State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) today called on the State Senate’s Republican majority to allow a floor vote on S. 420, a bill that would require the timely disposition of so-called ‘ghost’ campaign funds amassed by former candidates who no longer hold elected office and are not running for reelection. In 2011, the bill was voted down on a party-line vote in the Senate’s Elections Committee, with Republican senators Thomas O'Mara, Greg Ball, Patrick Gallivan, Michael Nozzolio, and Michael Ranzenhofer voting against the measure.
According to a NYPIRG analysis cited today on YNN’s ‘State of Politics’, there are at least 43 ‘ghost committees’ haunting New York politics with a combined total of more than $11 million in funds. These campaign committees belong to former lawmakers, some of whom are no longer even alive.
Albany, NY – The following statement can be attributed to Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan):
Last night, around midnight on the morning of the Ides of March, my Senate Democratic colleagues and I refused to support a backroom deal on redistricting that protects incumbent legislators by disenfranchising minorities, discriminating against voters from New York City and Long Island, and blatantly violating the Voting Rights Act.
Fox 23 was at the capitol for the redistricting vote. The Democratic Conference walked out, refusing to participate in midnight votes resulting from backroom deals, without even the opportunity for review and debate.
Senator Krueger released the following statement in response to a New York Post report this morning that Senate Republicans are planning to seize power by preventing duly-elected Democratic senators from being seated in January.
Two days ahead of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address, New York State Senator Liz Krueger and reform advocate Bill Samuels announced a new campaign finance reform proposal: a grand bargain that can accomplish Governor Cuomo’s previously-stated goal of a true “fair elections” matching-funds system, without running afoul of some legislators’ objections to taxpayer funding of elections.
In a press conference at the state capitol, Krueger and Samuels challenged Gov. Cuomo and the state legislature to implement full campaign finance reform, including a small-donation matching-funds system, by taking advantage of the high-profile push for controlled legalization of casino gaming in New York State.
Join Senator Krueger and our distinguished panel as we discuss the importance of our broken campaign finance system, the effort to reform it that's underway, and the practical effects this issue has on the lives of everyday New Yorkers and our community as a whole.