Feature article in The Lo-Down
We just received a news release from State Senator Daniel Squadron's office detailing "how the ethics reform package he sponsors with Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson would help prevent the kind of alleged ethical misconduct for which former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno is on trial."
Among the provisions highlighted:
New reporting requirements for consulting services: public officials would be required to report annually the names of consulting clients, and include the value of compensation received and a description of the services provided.
A requirement that both public officers and lobbyists provide detailed reports of their business dealings, including retention to the relevant ethics commission.
Increased financial disclosure; would require the reporting of outside income.
An independent investigative body, with subpoena power, within the legislature to fully investigate any questionable or suspicious business relationships.
A program of random reviews of annual statements of financial disclosure to ensure full and accurate reporting.
In the release, Squadron says, “Today, with the trial of former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno underway, a spotlight shines on the lax culture that has been the status quo in Albany for far too long. We have got to fill the huge gap – the 'Bruno Gap' – in our state’s ethics law. The time has come for the legislature to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We must pass ethics reform into law now.”
In September, Republicans in Albany blocked ethics reform bills from moving forward. At the time, Squadron called the failure in the Senate "shocking and disappointing."