I live in Carroll Gardens, and I’m lucky enough to have Dan Squadron as my State Senator. A couple months ago, I bumped into him talking to constituents outside of the entrance to the Bergen Street subway stop on the F line. (He’s now put together a town hall with actual MTA reps for people who use the F — I should go and give them a piece of my mind…) MYD also honored him with a “Young Gets It Done” award at our party at the Griffin.
He’s not even 30, but he arrived at the State Senate in 2008 and has been introducing legislation many of his fellow Senators have nightmares about.
Exhibit A: Ethics overhaul, which is gaining steam in light of the conviction of former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R) on corruption charges.
“I call it the Bruno gap, and it needs to be filled,” Squadron said.
The draft bill would abolish the much-criticized Public Integrity Commission and replace it with two different bodies – one to oversee the executive branch and another the lobbying industry.
A third commission, with an independent investigatory arm, would be created to police the Legislature.
That commission also would have the power to randomly review lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms.
Any recommendations investigators made would be public, a change from current law.
Lawmakers would also be subject to more stringent public disclosure laws.
For the first time, they would be required to publicly report the range of their outside income.
Lawmakers with consulting businesses, like Bruno, would be required to list all clients, their compensation level and what services they did for them.
The bill would not require legislators who are lawyers, like Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, to list their clients. Schneiderman, a lawyer, said that’s because of lawyer-client issues.
The bill has an anti-nepotism provision that would bar the hiring of relatives of elected officials to high-level positions in the same house or for state jobs with salaries over $84,000.
The bill would also revamp the toothless Board of Elections and make it easier for investigations to move forward.