Ethics Deal Approaches
June 2nd, 2011

A deal for a sweeping ethics package could be announced as soon as today, say some legislators. Not all of the details of the deal are clear. But the package is expected to replace the Public Integrity Commission with a 12-member body equally appointed by the governor and legislature.

The body would oversee the legislative and executive branches as well as lobbying. Legislators would be required to publicly disclose their outside income and legislators who are lawyers would have to reveal any clients they have with business in front of the state. Judges would be allowed to take away the pensions of lawmakers convicted of felony abuse of their office. In true Albany fashion the bill would purportedly make it easier for legislators to accept drinks and meals from lobbyists–Albany restaurants have complained that current ethics laws are putting a cramp in their cash registers. And legislators need to a drink now and again.

Both Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos said they expect a deal shortly. but Silver would not discuss the details of the bill until all parties were in agreement. Cuomo, yesterday told reporters that he hopes to reach a deal before the end of session. He again invoked the specter of a “Moreland Commission” that would give the executive branch almost unlimited ability to investigate legislators.

Skelos who has previously shot down the need for a Moreland Commission told reporters, I don’t believe were going to go to a Moreland Act, and we are going to get ethics reform before this legislative session is over.”

By on June 2, 2011, 7:21 am
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