Ethics Reform? Ethics Reform!

News

At 3:14 this morning, Gotham Gazzette’s David King wrote:

There is talk around the capitol that an ethics agreement could be announced this week.  It may be a long shot as most legislators have returned to their districts tonight but it is Albany and anything can happen. The official line as of this evening remained “talks are ongoing.”

AND LO! The sun rose this morning on a new ethics deal being promoted by Republicans in the Assembly and Democrats in both houses:

Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb today announced the introduction of sweeping ethics and campaign finance reform legislation. The legislation will include provisions agreed to by both the Senate and Assembly that would require greater disclosure from lobbyists and restore an independent lobbying commission, provide greater information regarding legislators’ outside sources of income and create a body within the New York State Board of Elections to enforce greater adherence to campaign finance laws.

Policy details in the senate’s press release.  It’s a start! 

Senate Republicans are complaining that they were left out of the negotiating process, but really, after the Senate GOP spent last summer trying out a new and more creative way of making Albany dysfunction even worse, and just following the recent conviction of their former leader on felony corruption charges…who would want to bring them in on ethics reform?  Seriously.