Assemblyman says Majority passing off flimsy ethics plan as new when it’s really a re-run
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today is blasting the Assembly Majority’s so-called “comprehensive” ethics reform plan that’s really just a flimsy rehash of warmed-over proposals that will do little to fight corruption in Albany.
Tedisco said the Majority’s plan does not contain provisions for pension forfeiture for convicted felon elected officials who betray their oath of office, term limits for leaders, truth in spending to bring sunlight to state spending in the shadows to end quid pro-quos, or giving rank and file members the ability to bring legislation to the Floor for a vote and diminish the unbridled power that’s been given to legislative leaders.
New Yorkers have been waiting 14 months for the Assembly Majority’s so-called “Reform Caucus” to release its report detailing reforms for transparency in how the Chamber operates. So far, all taxpayers have heard from the caucus is the sound of crickets chirping.
In classic, Albany news dump fashion, the Majority’s ethics plan was quietly announced around 7 p.m. on Friday evening to ensure the least amount of press coverage and scrutiny as possible.
“It took over a year to bring these rehashed reforms forward? Is this an early April fool’s prank or do they just think the taxpayers, real reform minded legislators, and the media are fools? While I support much of what’s in this, there’s nothing in the plan to create transparency for shadow spending, involve rank and file members in bringing legislation to the floor, term limits for powerful leaders to stop unbridled consolidation of power, or parity in staffing! Clearly the year long odyssey of the Speaker’s Majority ‘Reform Caucus’ lacked autonomy or their real report has been hijacked by the unbridled powers of the leader they have failed to reign in,” said Tedisco.
“If this was 1776 and this crew were the patriots, we’d still be under a kingship,” said Tedisco.
Tedisco is sponsoring the “Truth in Spending Law” (A.9525) that has the support of 41 sponsors so far, and which will require the executive and legislature to fully disclose how any public funds they allocate are spent and where the money comes from. Good government groups Citizens Union, the Empire Center, NYPIRG and Common Cause have publicly expressed support for Tedisco’s efforts to bring greater transparency to state spending decisions with this bill. The League of Women Voters has issued a memo of support for the bill. Tedisco also is sponsoring the “Spirit of ‘76” bill (A.8658/S.6475) that allows for a piece of legislation that has garnered the sponsorship of 76 members of the Assembly and 32 members in the Senate -- regardless of party affiliation -- to bypass committee and the unbridled power of the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader and move to the Floor for a debate and vote.