Legislation & Policy

Governor Cuomo has outlined his plan for greater transparency of state lawmakers’ outside income, and has made it part of his budget proposal. Good government groups say they wish he had gone farther.

Governor Cuomo says he’ll hold up the state budget if  lawmakers don’t agree to the new ethics reforms, but reform advocates say it’s possible to have both an on time budget and needed ethics changes. 

Blair Horner, with the New York Public Interest Research Group, says governor Cuomo and the legislature should be able to both finish the budget by the required April 1st deadline, and reform ethics practices, including conflicts related to outside income that have led to the arrest of the Assembly Speaker.  

With the shocking arrest of former Speaker Sheldon Silver still lingering inside the Capitol, several lawmakers along with Governor Cuomo are calling for a series of new ethics reforms. 

Supporters of Governor Cuomo’s education tax credit were at the Capitol to persuade lawmakers that the credit, which would benefit donors to private and charter schools, should be approved as part of the state budget. 

Democrats in the State Senate are pushing for some reforms that directly address problems that led to the arrest and resignation of the Assembly Speaker. They want to virtually ban all outside income for lawmakers.

The proposals come two and a half weeks after the Democratic Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver was arrested on corruption charges, and one week after he resigned as speaker.

Silver is charged with subverting his employment at two private law firms to gain nearly $6 million dollars in kickbacks and bribes.