Senator Valesky Applauds Focus on Ethics Reform, Calls for Broad Changes

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today applauded Governor Paterson for making ethics reform a central issue in 2010 and pledged to work to strengthen ethics laws in the Senate.
“The way government and politics interact in New York State is in dire need of drastic reform,” Senator Valesky said.  “From our days working together in the Senate minority and with the changes the new majority has enacted in the Senate over the past year, the Governor should know that I and others in the Senate from both sides of the aisle are willing partners in this effort.” 
In 2009, the Senate majority, with Senator Valesky’s leadership, adopted term limits on leadership and diffused power that had become concentrated in the hands of former leaders.
In addition, the Senate, through a new web site and new rules for committees, has made the legislative process more transparent to the public.
“Reforms in the State Senate have certainly been difficult but not impossible to enact, and there is room for much more,” Senator Valesky said. “ 
Specifically, Senator Valesky emphasized that all state elected officials should focus on broader reform issues, including enacting stronger ethics laws, requiring disclosure of outside business interests and income, and tightening campaign finance rules.
“Real and profound ethics reform should be an immediate goal in New York State,” Senator Valesky said. “Through meaningful legislative action, we can finally fix the system that unfortunately allowed some elected officials to leverage public office for personal gain.”
“While I look forward to hearing the details of his proposal, I pledge to work with the Governor on these matters, and to continue to serve as a champion of such changes in the Senate.”