Monday will see the Democrats who now utterly management New York state authorities make an enormous present of marketing campaign and election reform. But what about boosting moral necessities for the lawmakers themselves?
After all, the state has seen much more corruption scandals than it has electoral injustices — together with the convictions of Assembly ex-Speaker Sheldon Speaker, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and different legislative leaders, in addition to a few of Gov. Cuomo’s closest associates.
To be truthful, the Dems who’ve simply taken over the state Senate are speaking about motion on ethics. On the opposite hand, the one change they’ve really made is to provide themselves a majority of the seats on the Senate Ethics Committee, which has historically been cut up evenly between the 2 events.
Then once more, the bipartisan committee did nothing underneath these guidelines: It final met in 2017 — for the primary time in eight years.
And this modification is meant to be a part of the panel turning into way more energetic with Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester) within the chair. It’s presupposed to not simply meet, however maintain hearings, conduct investigations and mark up payments.
Biaggi says the extra strong ethics panel “sends a signal not only to the Legislature but to the public that this is a committee that’s taking seriously its responsibilities.”
Maybe so, although at the very least one senior Senate Democrat is wanting within the different route: The Albany Times Union stories that Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), the brand new Energy Committee chairman, not too long ago included a non-public consulting enterprise, Praxis Paradigms.
That appears to be like like a unadorned invitation to pay-to-play: Will Biaggi look into it?
Of course, new guidelines are presupposed to (finally) restrict lawmakers’ exterior revenue. But many Democrats within the Legislature need to kill that restriction, in addition to the reform proscribing the bonuses often known as “lulus.”
And main the cost to roll again these guidelines is Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie — whose opening-of-session remarks didn’t checklist ethics reform as a precedence.
Recall that again in 2016, Heastie’s chief ethics officer, Jane Feldman, give up in frustration after 18 months. And Heastie (like Silver earlier than him) has ignored the sweeping ethics reforms provided by Assembly Republicans.
Bottom line: For all of the discuss of change in Albany, enterprise appears to be like primed to proceed as corruptly as ever.