Assembly Majority Politicians Block Bill To Restore Transparency And Trust In State Government
Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) issued the following statement after Majority politicians on the Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations voted against legislation that would enact the Public Officers Accountability Act, a comprehensive package of anti-corruption measures designed to bring greater transparency to Albany.
Albanys track record of corruption and its unbelievable lack of ethics reform have reduced it to a national laughingstock. The behavior of top-level state officials and their subsequent arrests, indictments and convictions have relentlessly filled newspaper columns; yet, when real, thoughtful reforms were presented, the Assembly Majority inexplicably turned their backs on the publics interests."
The legislation (A.3945, Kolb) would, among other things:
- Enact term limits for legislative leaders and committee chairs;
- Create an independent ethics panel to replace the Joint Commission on Public Ethics;
- Create a new crime of failure to report corruption;
- Require unspent contributions received by an elected official convicted of a felony related to his/her duties to be returned; and
- Require all discretionary appropriations, or member items, be itemized in the budget and include the name of the governor or member requesting the appropriation.