Senator Kennedy Announces Passage of Comprehensive Ethics Reform Legislation

Timothy M. Kennedy

June 13, 2011

Kennedy co-sponsors legislation, bill passes Senate by a vote of 61-0

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, D-58th District, announced the New York State Senate has passed comprehensive ethics reform legislation, which takes steps to finally bring real change to Albany.

The Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 – which Senator Kennedy co-sponsored – unanimously passed the Senate by a vote of 61-0. The Assembly also passed the legislation, which now awaits the Governor’s signature to become law.

“Over the last 10 years, Albany politicians were more likely to be indicted or resign amid scandal than to lose in a general election. Following the long parade of public officials who have left office in handcuffs, our persistent call for change is starting to steer New York in a new direction,” Senator Kennedy said. “By passing this ethics reform package, we have taken action to change Albany. This legislation takes significant steps toward cleaning up the mess that past lawmakers have made, and it is a launching point for a long-overdue crackdown on the Capitol crime spree.”

The legislation creates the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which will monitor both the legislative and executive branches of government. It requires greater disclosure of legislators’ outside incomes and expands disclosure requirements for registered lobbyists. The bill will also force public officials to forfeit their pensions if they are convicted of a felony.

“With all of the provisions packed into this legislation, we are aiming to empower the hardworking men and women of New York State to take back their government,” Senator Kennedy added.

“When I first came to Albany in January, I was one of 13 new members in the Senate chambers. We were joined in the State Capitol by a new and aggressive Governor. All of us came into office driven to clean up Albany and restore New Yorkers’ faith and trust in their government. As demonstrated by the passage of this comprehensive, far-reaching ethics reform legislation, this influx of new energy and ideas is sparking real change in Albany.”