ALBANY, N.Y. – The Senate Democratic Conference today unveiled a tough legislative ethics package designed to reform state government and combat the ongoing corruption issues facing New York State. The Conference also announced their support for the principles of the Governor’s legislative package the “New York Public Trust Act.”
“The events of the past few weeks have shown all New Yorkers more must be done to clean up Albany,” Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “Public corruption and the abuse of power by elected officials is a serious problem that must be confronted and eliminated. I urge my colleagues in the Senate Republican Coalition join with the Senate Democratic Conference to clean up Albany.”
I recently shared my thoughts on the corruption issues plaguing Albany with the Messenger Post family of newspapers:
"I was elected to the New York State Senate last year, and I understand what the residents of Monroe and Ontario Counties expect of me. They trust that I will fight every day to reduce the burden of property taxes, revitalize our economy and encourage growth in emerging technologies to create the jobs of the future. This has been my focus since I took office, but when our Legislature is hit by scandal after scandal, and nearly nine in 10 New Yorkers think corruption is a major problem in our state, it’s difficult for government to work effectively."
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O’Brien expressed his strong support for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s new disclosure requirements for shadowy nonprofit organizations that abuse their status to engage in anonymous political campaigning, which took effect yesterday.
Since 2010, these political groups, operating under the cover of 501(c)(4) organization status, have pumped millions of dollars into races at all levels without having to disclose the origin of their funds. In the 2012 campaign, Virginia-based “Common Sense Principles,” a mysterious ‘nonprofit’ group, spent large sums of money in several New York State Senate races, including Senator O’Brien’s.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O'Brien applauded Governor Cuomo's announcement of a Moreland Commission to investigate the legislature and restore faith in Albany. After serious ethics violations and alleged lawbreaking took place, the legislature failed to enact meaningful reform.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O’Brien joins millions of Americans in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the delivery of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Dr. King's speech still captivates us today through his courage and hopeful vision for a better future for the next generations. However, the struggle for equality among many sectors of the population continues,” said Senator O’Brien.
This essay by Senator O'Brien ran in the Democrat & Chronicle on January 11, 2014
As a new legislative session in Albany begins, I am preparing to address serious challenges to our region’s well-being.
During his State of the State address, the governor made it clear that upstate tax relief is his top priority. Mine, too. Eliminating corporate and energy taxes for upstate manufacturers and implementing the governor’s call for additional property tax relief are on the top of my agenda, as well.
ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Ted O'Brien and fellow legislators have called for a change to the state constitution that would allow pensions to be stripped from public officials who commit felonies and violate the public trust.
"The taxpayers of this state deserve to know that their money is not funding the retirements of former elected officials who have been convicted of felonies in betrayal of the public's trust," said Senator O'Brien. "I am honored to join my colleagues in support of this change. This is a necessary step if we are to continue to restore accountability, transparency and the confidence of our citizens in New York State government."
Senator Ted O'Brien sat down to discuss some top priorities he will be working on this session. These include implementing additional tax relief, working to pass his Unfunded Mandate Reform Act, striving to improve availability of job and skills training programs that help match unemployed people up with positions that are open now and fighting to tighten restrictions on how campaigns are financed and more effectively deal with those who flout the rules.
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).
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.