Like you, I am appalled at some of what I see happening in Albany. That is why I have put party politics aside and worked in a bi-partisan fashion, even against the leaders of my own party, in an effort to clean up Albany.
* I believe that members of the State Legislature who are under investigation for Federal or State criminal violations should not be able to stay in leadership positions in government, and should have the perks of their office taken from them until the investigation is resolved. I was the only Senator to call for the removal of former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, when it was announced that Bruno was under Federal investigation.
* I co-sponsored the so-called “Bruno Bill”, officially titled the “Public Corruption Prevention Enforcement Act of 2010”, (S.7707-a). That legislation gives prosecutors new and powerful tools to root out corruption in Albany. I have made this a bi-partisan effort, fighting to hold public officials accountable for wrongdoing.
* I have urged the Senate to investigate the allegations Attorney General Cuomo has made against Senator Pedro Espada. Attorney General Cuomo has filed a multi-count lawsuit against Senator Espada for improper activities. I believe once a legislator is the subject of an official investigation by law enforcement, that official should have their staff and other perks of office taken away, as well as having their member items frozen, so as to not allow their improper use while the investigation is being conducted.
* I have led the effort for a Constitutional Amendment to make sure Assembly and Senate Districts are developed fairly, in a non-partisan way. (S.2892; S.1614-b). I believe Senate and Assembly District lines should be drawn based on population, not on politics.
* I voted to expel former Senator Hiram Monserrate after he was convicted of criminal activity. I believe New Yorkers deserve a higher standard for our elected officials. Convicted criminals have no place in the Senate or Assembly. I believe that once a legislator is convicted of any crime, they should be removed from elected office.
We have serious problems in New York State. Cleaning up Albany is important because a better State Legislature means it is more likely that important issues like property tax reform, small business tax relief, regulatory reform and creating jobs will actually happen.
I will continue to lead the effort to reform Albany and make the Legislature more responsive to all New Yorkers.
JOHN J. BONACIC