GOVERNMENT WATCHDOGS: GOVERNOR MUST ACT ON PUBLIC CORRUPTION
- Susan Lerner
SKELOS & SILVER CONVICTIONS SHOW CLEANING UP ALBANY NOT DONE
New York, NY — Government watchdogs renewed their calls for Governor Cuomo to act on limiting lawmakers’ outside income, closing the “LLC loophole,” beefing up state enforcement, and boosting transparency of discretionary budget items in the wake of the conviction today of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, following close on the heels of the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver last week.
These reforms directly relate to the trials of the former leaders, who used their public posts for personal gain. The groups proposed a series of comprehensive legislative and administrative solutions in a letter to the Governor and legislative leaders sent in November, which related to the deficiencies in state law revealed by the trials. To strengthen state enforcement, the groups support JCOPE reforms, including revising its voting structure to eliminate a veto by a minority of members. To shine a light on dark money, the groups also support closing the LLC Loophole and providing greater vetting and disclosure of state slush funds, including lump sums and other discretionary grants such as those utilized by the former leaders in their kick-back schemes.
As we look forward to the 2016 legislative session, we call on our elected leaders to take immediate action and enact these comprehensive ethics reforms – it is time to stop the parade of scandals in Albany and take serious steps to show the public that reform is a priority.