New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and bi-cameral leaders agreed upon a much anticipated ethics bill calling for full disclosure of assets and income from state lawmakers.
The bill would require state lawmakers, who are allowed to earn outside income because serving in the legislature is a part time job, would have to name their work related associates. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who has long held it would be a violation of attorney client privilege to reveal his clients will now be required to do so in accordance with the proposed law.
This bill is the tough and aggressive approach we need. It provides for disclosure of outside income by lawmakers, creates a true independent monitor to investigate corruption, and spells out tough, new rules that lobbyists must follow, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a joint e-mail statement.
Cuomo made ethics reform the central tenant of his campaign for governor and the agreement marks a significant victory for him, highlighting his ability to work with lawmakers from across the aisle. Just last week he and legislators agreed on his proposed property tax cap bill.
Two out of three of Cuomo's agenda items have been accomplished however the third, same sex marriage has not been. Law makers have to pass the items by June 20th.
Dick Dadey, executive director of government watchdog group, Citizen's Union called the deal 'welcomed' and 'significant'.
It is an important and much needed achievement, Dadey said.