When Democrats formally take control of the state Senate on Wednesday afternoon, their first order of business will be an overhaul of the chamber’s historically moribund Ethics Committee, POLITICO has learned.
“We are empowering the Ethics Committee in a way that’s never been done before to both act like a true legislative committee, as well as have the power to investigate,” said Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris (D-Queens).
Immediately after they elect Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) as majority leader, Democrats will adopt rules empowering the committee to start approving bills touching on topics like ethics enforcement and sexual harassment. While dealing with legislation is the basic function of most committees in Albany, that’s never been under the purview of Ethics, much to the consternation of numerous critics through the years.
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