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A05714 Summary:

BILL NOA05714
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORBarclay
 
COSPNSRDiPietro, Hawley, Montesano, Byrnes, Morinello, Salka, Lemondes, Lawler, Giglio JM
 
MLTSPNSRBrown, DeStefano, Gallahan, Manktelow
 
Add §68, amd §5-a, Leg L
 
Relates to an assembly standing committee on ethics and guidance.
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A05714 Actions:

BILL NOA05714
 
02/24/2021referred to governmental operations
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A05714 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A5714
 
SPONSOR: Barclay
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the legislative law, in relation to creating an assembly standing committee on ethics and guidance   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To establish the Assembly Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance in law and make the committee independent of the Speaker. This committee will replace the current Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance that is established by the Rules of the Assembly. This legislation grants the committee investigative and disciplinary authority and requires mandato- ry reporting to the committee of any reported incidents of misconduct and requires the committee to act on such complaints at their next meet- ing.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. Establishes the Assembly Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance in law and defines its functions and authority as follows: Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance Structure *The eight member committee would be composed of four majority Members appointed by the Speaker and four minority members appointed by the Minority Leader. *The Speaker and the Minority Leader would each choose a Co-chair among the members of the committee. *Members of the committee would serve a fixed two-year term concurrent with their legislative term and could only be removed by a majority vote of the committee for their own misconduct. *The committee is required to meet at least bi-monthly or at additional times as may be called by the Co-chairs, jointly, or by a consensus of four members of the committee. *The committee will be granted its own budget, lined out separately in the annual Legislative Budget, in an amount deemed appropriate by an agreement of the Co-chairs. Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance Functions The committee is required to: *Appoint an Executive Director by a majority vote and appoint other necessary staff; *Review all policies and rules of the Speaker and the Assembly in relation to member and employee conduct and make suggestions for improvements; *Offer motions to amend or suspend the Assembly Rules; *Adopt polices relating to conduct of members and employees of the Assembly, including but not limited to ethics, sexual harassment and fraternization with student interns; *Develop and regularly update a course of instruction for member and employee conduct; *Prepare annual reports to the Speaker and the Minority Leader summariz- ing the activities of the committee, including complaints made to the committee and the status or resolution of those complaints; and *Investigate complaints and impose disciplinary measures. Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance Investigative and Enforcement Authority *This section requires mandatory reporting to the committee of any formal or informal complaint of misconduct by members and employees, within five days of such complaint, being made to Assembly counsel, human resource or personnel office, or intake representatives, and requires the committee to act on such complaint at their next meeting. *Also, prohibits retaliatory personnel actions against committee members for committee activities or against members or staff who make a report to the committee. The committee has the authority to: *Initiate investigations on its own accord, by a majority vote, into any possible violation by any member or employee of the rules or policies of the Speaker or the Assembly or Public Officers Law or other law. *Investigate complaints or defer complaints to the appropriate authority by a majority vote of the committee. *Notify individuals, in writing, who are the subject of a formal inves- tigation and give them fifteen days to respond. *Authorize the committee to impose penalties as provided for under law or suggest censure, stripping members of leadership positions or expul- sion as punishments. Section 2. Requires equal allowance for majority and minority co-chairs of the Assembly Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance. Section 3. Contains the severability clause. Section 4. Contains the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: The current Assembly Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance, like other standing committees, is created in the Assembly Rules and controlled by the Speaker. The Speaker's direct or indirect influence over the current committee, by having the power to name the committee chair and staff, leads to actual conflicts of interest or, at the very least, perceived conflicts of interest. This legislation is necessary to establish in law a more independent bipartisan ethics oversight commit- tee in the New York State Assembly to protect the public's interest, not political interest.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A7621 of 2013-14 Referred to Governmental Operations A5291 of 2015-16 Held for consideration in Governmental Operations A3315 of 2017-18 Held for consideration in Governmental Operations A5208 of 2019-20 Held for consideration in Governmental Operations   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Minimal   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately
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A05714 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          5714
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 24, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. BARCLAY, DiPIETRO, HAWLEY, MONTESANO, BYRNES,
          MORINELLO, SALKA, LEMONDES, LAWLER, J. M. GIGLIO -- Multi-Sponsored by
          -- M. of A. BROWN, DeSTEFANO, GALLAHAN, MANKTELOW  --  read  once  and
          referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations
 
        AN ACT to amend the legislative law, in relation to creating an assembly
          standing committee on ethics and guidance
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The legislative law is amended by adding a new  section  68
     2  to read as follows:
     3    § 68. Assembly standing committee on ethics and guidance. 1.  There is
     4  established  a standing committee in the assembly on ethics and guidance
     5  which shall replace the standing committee on  ethics  and  guidance  as
     6  established by the rules of the assembly. The committee shall consist of
     7  an  equal  number  of majority and minority members for a total of eight
     8  members. The  eight  members  shall  be  members  of  the  assembly  and
     9  appointed  as  follows:  four by the speaker of the assembly and four by
    10  the minority leader of the assembly.
    11    2. The committee shall serve as described in this section and have and
    12  exercise the powers and duties set  forth  in  this  section  only  with
    13  respect to members of the assembly and assembly employees.
    14    3.  Members of the assembly who serve on the committee shall each have
    15  a two year term concurrent with their legislative terms of office.
    16    4. Members of the committee may only be removed by a majority vote  of
    17  the  committee  solely for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct
    18  in  office,  violation  of  the  confidentiality  restrictions  in  this
    19  section,  inability  to  discharge  the  powers  or  duties of office or
    20  violation of this section, after written notice and  opportunity  for  a
    21  reply.
    22    5. The speaker of the assembly and the minority leader of the assembly
    23  shall  each  designate  one  member of the committee as a co-chairperson
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02914-01-1

        A. 5714                             2
 
     1  thereof. The co-chairpersons shall receive compensation as provided  for
     2  in section five-a of this chapter.
     3    6. The committee shall meet at least bi-monthly and at such additional
     4  times  as  may  be called for by the co-chairpersons jointly or any four
     5  members of the committee.
     6    7. Any vacancy occurring on the committee shall be filled within thir-
     7  ty days by the appointing authority.
     8    8. Five members of the committee shall constitute a  quorum,  and  the
     9  committee  shall  have power to act by majority vote of the total number
    10  of members of the committee without vacancy.
    11    9. The committee shall be funded separately from the  assembly  appro-
    12  priations provided annually in an amount deemed appropriate by an agree-
    13  ment  of  the co-chairs for the maintenance and operation of the commit-
    14  tee. Such appropriation for the committee shall  be  specifically  lined
    15  out  in  the legislative budget. The executive director and employees of
    16  the committee shall be considered as employees of the assembly  for  all
    17  purposes.
    18    10. The committee shall:
    19    (a) appoint an executive director who shall act in accordance with the
    20  policies  of  the  committee, provided that the committee may remove the
    21  executive director by a majority vote for neglect of duty, misconduct in
    22  office, or inability or failure to discharge the  powers  or  duties  of
    23  office;
    24    (b)  appoint  such  other staff as are necessary to assist it to carry
    25  out its duties under this section;
    26    (c) adopt, amend, and rescind policies, rules and regulations consist-
    27  ent with this section to govern procedures of the committee;
    28    (d) administer the provisions of this section;
    29    (e) review all rules and policies  of  the  speaker  or  the  assembly
    30  relating  to conduct of members and employees of the assembly, including
    31  but not limited to ethics, sexual  harassment  and  fraternization  with
    32  student  interns,  and  recommend to the speaker of the assembly and the
    33  minority leader of the assembly any changes to such rules  and  policies
    34  or  offer  motions  to  amend rules of the assembly, or offer motions to
    35  suspend rules of the assembly, or adopt policies relating to conduct  of
    36  members  and  employees  of  the  assembly, including but not limited to
    37  ethics, sexual harassment and fraternization with student  interns.  Any
    38  such policy relating to conduct of members and employees of the assembly
    39  adopted by the committee shall be the policy of the assembly and subject
    40  to the provisions of this section;
    41    (f)  develop  and  regularly  update  a  course of instruction for all
    42  members and employees of the assembly with regard to the laws and  poli-
    43  cies  governing  their  conduct.    The committee shall recommend to the
    44  speaker of the assembly and  the  minority  leader  of  the  assembly  a
    45  conduct  and  ethics  training plan for implementing and scheduling such
    46  course of instruction for members, employees and newly-hired employees;
    47    (g) prepare an annual report to the speaker of the  assembly  and  the
    48  minority  leader  of  the  assembly  summarizing  the  activities of the
    49  committee during the previous year and recommending any changes  in  the
    50  laws governing the conduct of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the
    51  committee,  or  the  rules,  regulations  and  procedures  governing the
    52  committee's conduct. Such report  shall  include:    (i)  a  listing  by
    53  assigned  number  of  each  complaint  including  current status of each
    54  complaint, (ii) where a matter was deferred, and (iii)  where  a  matter
    55  has  been resolved, the date and nature of the disposition and any sanc-

        A. 5714                             3
 
     1  tion imposed,  subject  to  the  confidentiality  requirements  of  this
     2  section; and
     3    (h)  investigate  complaints  and impose disciplinary measures against
     4  members and employees found in violation of rules and  policies  of  the
     5  speaker or the assembly or the public officers law or other law.
     6    11. Investigations, mandatory reporting of violations, and enforcement
     7  authority:
     8    (a)  The  committee  shall  have  the authority, on its own accord, to
     9  initiate by a majority vote an investigation into a possible  violation,
    10  by any member or employee of the assembly, of the rules or policy of the
    11  speaker or the assembly or of the public officers law or other law.
    12    (b) Any formal or informal complaint of a violation of rules and poli-
    13  cies  of  the speaker or the assembly relating to conduct of members and
    14  employees of the assembly or of a violation of the public  officers  law
    15  or other law, must be reported to the committee within five days of such
    16  complaint  being  made  to counsel, office of human resources, office of
    17  administration and personnel or intake representative.
    18    (c) The committee shall review such complaint at the next  meeting  of
    19  such  committee  and  determine  by majority vote whether to investigate
    20  such complaint further, commence a full  formal  investigation  of  such
    21  complaint  or  defer  such  complaint  to the joint commission on public
    22  ethics, the legislative ethics commission, or an appropriate prosecutor.
    23  The staff of the committee shall provide to the members of the committee
    24  prior to such vote information regarding the likely scope and content of
    25  the investigation, and  a subpoena plan, to the extent such  information
    26  is available.
    27    (d)  If  the  committee determines by majority vote that a full formal
    28  investigation shall commence the committee shall notify  the  individual
    29  in  writing,  describe  the  possible  or alleged violation of rules and
    30  policies of the speaker or the assembly related to  conduct  of  members
    31  and  employees  of the assembly or of a violation of the public officers
    32  law or other law and provide the person with a  fifteen  day  period  in
    33  which to submit a written response setting forth information relating to
    34  the  activities  cited  as a possible or alleged violation of such rules
    35  and policies.
    36    (e) The committee has the authority to conduct any  inquiry  pertinent
    37  or material to the discharge of the functions, powers and duties imposed
    38  by  law;  and  through  designated  members  of  the  staff, to subpoena
    39  witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and compel the production of
    40  such books, papers, records and documents as may be relevant to any such
    41  inquiry and investigation.
    42    (f) If the  committee  determines  at  any  stage  that  there  is  no
    43  violation,  it  shall  so  advise the individual and the complainant, if
    44  any. All of the foregoing proceedings shall be confidential.
    45    (g) The jurisdiction of the committee when  acting  pursuant  to  this
    46  section  shall continue notwithstanding that a member of the assembly or
    47  assembly employee separates from assembly  service,  provided  that  the
    48  committee notifies such individual of the alleged violation of rules and
    49  policies  of  the speaker or the assembly relating to conduct of members
    50  and employees of the assembly or of a violation of the  public  officers
    51  law  pursuant  to paragraph (c) of this subdivision within one year from
    52  his or her separation from assembly service.
    53    (h) If during the course of its investigation the committee deems that
    54  a violation of rules and policies of the speaker or the assembly related
    55  to conduct of members and employees of the assembly or  a  violation  of

        A. 5714                             4
 
     1  the  public  officers law or other law has occurred, the committee shall
     2  notify the individual in writing.
     3    (i)  The  committee  shall have the authority to (i) recommend punish-
     4  ments for violations of rules and policies of the speaker or the  assem-
     5  bly,  or the public officers law or other law, including but not limited
     6  to censure, stripping  members  of  leadership  positions  or  expulsion
     7  pursuant  to  section  three  of  this chapter and (ii) access penalties
     8  pursuant to applicable law or rule.
     9    (j) No member or employee of  the  assembly  shall  take  any  adverse
    10  personnel  action  with  respect  to  another  member or employee of the
    11  assembly in retaliation for his or her making a report to the committee,
    12  or for his or her official duties as a member of the committee, concern-
    13  ing conduct which he or  she  knows  or  reasonably  believes  to  be  a
    14  violation  of  rules  and policies of the speaker or the assembly or the
    15  public officers law or other law.
    16    (k) Notwithstanding the provisions of article six of the public  offi-
    17  cers law, the only records of the committee which shall be available for
    18  public inspection and copying are:
    19    (i) the terms of any settlement or compromise of a complaint or refer-
    20  ral  or report which includes a fine, penalty or other remedy reached by
    21  the committee; and
    22    (ii) all reports required by this section.
    23    12. Notwithstanding the provisions of  article  seven  of  the  public
    24  officers law, no meeting or proceeding of the committee shall be open to
    25  the  public,  except  if expressly provided otherwise by this section or
    26  the committee.
    27    § 2. That portion of subdivision 1 of section 5-a of  the  legislative
    28  law  entitled  "ASSEMBLYMEN  SERVING IN SPECIAL CAPACITY", as amended by
    29  section 3 of part XX of chapter 56 of the laws of 2009,  is  amended  to
    30  read as follows:
 
    31                   ASSEMBLYMEN SERVING IN SPECIAL CAPACITY
 
    32  Chairman of assembly ways and means committee ................... 34,000
    33  Ranking minority member of assembly ways and means
    34   committee ...................................................... 20,500
    35  Chairman of assembly judiciary committee ........................ 18,000
    36  Ranking minority member of assembly judiciary
    37   committee ...................................................... 11,000
    38  Chairman of assembly codes committee ............................ 18,000
    39  Ranking minority member of assembly codes
    40   committee ...................................................... 11,000
    41  Chairman of assembly banks committee ............................ 15,000
    42  Ranking minority member of assembly banks committee .............. 9,500
    43  Chairman of assembly committee on cities ........................ 15,000
    44  Ranking minority member of assembly committee on cities .......... 9,500
    45  Chairman of assembly education committee ........................ 18,000
    46  Ranking minority member of assembly education committee ......... 11,000
    47  Chairman of assembly health committee ........................... 15,000
    48  Ranking minority member of assembly health committee ............. 9,500
    49  Chairman of assembly local governments committee ................ 15,000
    50  Ranking minority member of assembly local governments
    51   committee ....................................................... 9,500
    52  Chairman of assembly agriculture committee ...................... 12,500
    53  Ranking minority member of assembly agriculture committee ........ 9,000
    54  Chairman of assembly economic development, job creation,

        A. 5714                             5
 
     1   commerce and industry committee ................................ 18,000
     2  Ranking minority member of assembly economic development,
     3   job creation, commerce and industry committee .................. 11,000
     4  Chairman of assembly environmental conservation committee ....... 12,500
     5  Ranking minority member of assembly environmental
     6   conservation committee .......................................... 9,000
     7  Chairman of assembly corporations, authorities
     8   and commissions committee ...................................... 15,000
     9  Ranking minority member of assembly corporations,
    10   authorities, and commissions committee .......................... 9,500
    11  Chairman of assembly correction committee ....................... 12,500
    12  Ranking minority member of assembly correction committee ......... 9,000
    13  Majority Chairman of assembly ethics and guidance
    14   committee ...................................................... 12,500
    15  [Ranking minority member of assembly ethics and guidance
    16   committee ...................................................... 9,000]
    17  Minority Chairman of assembly ethics and guidance
    18   committee ...................................................... 12,500
    19  Chairman of assembly governmental employees committee ........... 12,500
    20  Ranking minority member of assembly governmental
    21   employees committee ............................................. 9,000
    22  Chairman of assembly governmental operations committee .......... 12,500
    23  Ranking minority member of assembly governmental
    24   operations committee ............................................ 9,000
    25  Chairman of assembly housing committee .......................... 12,500
    26  Ranking minority member of assembly housing committee ............ 9,000
    27  Chairman of assembly insurance committee ........................ 12,500
    28  Ranking minority member of assembly insurance committee .......... 9,000
    29  Chairman of assembly labor committee ............................ 14,000
    30  Ranking minority member of assembly labor committee .............. 9,000
    31  Chairman of assembly racing and wagering committee .............. 12,500
    32  Ranking minority member of assembly racing and wagering
    33   committee ....................................................... 9,000
    34  Chairman of assembly social services committee .................. 12,500
    35  Ranking minority member of assembly social services
    36   committee ....................................................... 9,000
    37  Chairman of assembly small business committee ................... 12,500
    38  Ranking minority member of assembly small business
    39   committee ....................................................... 9,000
    40  Chairman of assembly transportation committee ................... 15,000
    41  Ranking minority member of assembly transportation
    42   committee ....................................................... 9,500
    43  Chairman of assembly veterans' affairs committee ................ 12,500
    44  Ranking minority member of assembly veterans' affairs
    45   committee ....................................................... 9,000
    46  Chairman of assembly aging committee ............................ 12,500
    47  Ranking minority member of assembly aging committee .............. 9,000
    48  Chairman of the assembly alcoholism and drug abuse
    49   committee ...................................................... 12,500
    50  Ranking minority member of the assembly
    51   alcoholism and drug abuse committee ............................. 9,000
    52  Chairman of assembly committee on mental health,
    53   mental retardation and developmental disabilities .............. 12,500
    54  Ranking minority member of assembly committee on mental health,

        A. 5714                             6
 
     1   mental retardation and developmental disabilities ............... 9,000
     2  Chairman of assembly higher education committee ................. 12,500
     3  Ranking minority member of assembly higher education
     4   committee ....................................................... 9,000
     5  Chairman of assembly real property taxation committee ........... 12,500
     6  Ranking minority member of assembly real property
     7   taxation committee .............................................. 9,000
     8  Chairman of assembly election law committee ..................... 12,500
     9  Ranking minority member of assembly election
    10   law committee ................................................... 9,000
    11  Chairman of assembly children and families committee ............ 12,500
    12  Ranking minority member of assembly children
    13   and families committee .......................................... 9,000
    14  Chairman of assembly consumer affairs and protection
    15   committee ...................................................... 12,500
    16  Ranking minority member of assembly consumer affairs and
    17   protection committee ............................................ 9,000
    18  Chairman of the assembly energy committee ....................... 12,500
    19  Ranking minority member of assembly energy committee ............. 9,000
    20  Chairman of assembly tourism, parks, arts and sports development
    21   committee ...................................................... 12,500
    22  Ranking minority member of assembly tourism, parks, arts and
    23   sports development committee .................................... 9,000
    24  Chairman of assembly oversight, analysis and investigation
    25   committee ...................................................... 12,500
    26  Ranking minority member of assembly oversight,
    27   analysis and investigation committee ............................ 9,000
    28  Chairman of assembly office of state-federal relations .......... 12,500
    29  Chairman of majority house operations ........................... 12,500
    30  Chairman of minority house operations ............................ 9,000
    31  Co-chairman of the administrative regulations review
    32   commission ..................................................... 12,500
 
    33    §  3. Severability clause. If any part or provision of this section or
    34  the application thereof to any person is adjudged by a court  of  compe-
    35  tent  jurisdiction  to  be  unconstitutional  or otherwise invalid, such
    36  judgment shall not affect or impair any other part or provision  or  the
    37  application  thereof  to any other person, but shall be confined to such
    38  part or provision.
    39    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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