Squadron on Ethics Reform
State Senator Daniel Squadron is out with his take on today's agreement on ethics reform. He has made it a signature issue. Like most of his colleagues, Squadron says the agreed-upon bill is a step in the right direction, if not everything reform advocates wanted:
Since taking office, I have pushed for increased disclosure, enforcement, and independence in our ethics and campaign finance oversight, and this morning, I joined with Senator Sampson, Speaker Silver, colleagues, and good government advocates in announcing a reform package that represents a significant step forward. Though the package is far from perfect, I am pleased that my hard work has led to a solution that will actually change Albany. To begin restoring New Yorkers’ faith in our government, a good law is more important than a perfect press release. Throughout this process, organizations like the New York Public Interest Research Group, Citizens Union, and the League of Women Voters have been partners in the fight for transparency and accountability in government, and I am pleased that they are supporting the package we negotiated.
Among the important reforms I fought for in the package are:
For the first time, creating meaningful enforcement at the State Board of Elections to pursue campaign finance violations;
Creating a new, more independent ethics body to investigate wrongdoing by the legislature;
Requiring lobbyists and their clients to disclose business dealings with public officials, including all legislators, and requiring for the first time that legislators disclose income from consulting services and that income levels are publicly disclosed; and
Filling the “Bruno Gap” in state law by explicitly banning the use of government resources for outside, for-profit business.
I am pleased to have pushed this important step toward increased enforcement, independence, and disclosure, and I am committed to continuing the fight to reform Albany and create a more open, accountable, and transparent state government.