By Sabina Mollot
In a recent interview with State Senator Brad Hoylman, Town & Village reported on Albany’s refusal to pass any LGBT protections or stronger gun control legislation this past legislative session.
But those aren’t the only bills left collecting dust on the floor of the State Senate. There are also ethics reforms.
On those proposed reforms, just one major measure did pass, Hoylman reported, which would strip any elected official convicted of corruption of his or pension. However, he said, this will have to be approved again next session and then sent to voters for their approval, as well as “some disclosure provisions for groups engaging in independent expenditures.”
The Senate did not however vote to close the LLC Loophole, which allows corporations to give nearly limitless campaign contributions, or to limit outside income of legislators. Additionally, elected officials are still currently allowed to use their campaign cash for their own criminal defense.
“The shamelessness in the Republicans in not taking up a (legislative) package is breathtaking,” said Hoylman.
Asked if Governor Andrew Cuomo, who back in January, had said he’d support ethics reforms, was taking any action to push those bills, Hoylman again put the blame on his own Republican-controlled chamber.
“He’s working with an uncooperative Senate,” he said of Cuomo. “It takes three men in a room to get things done and any one of them have veto powers.”
Hoylman further fumed that it seems much of what was going on during session, including Albany’s oversight over the city’s mayoral control, was motivated by political payback.
On that issue, it would likely be due to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to get a Democratic majority in the Senate in 2014, the fundraising efforts for which have recently come under scrutiny.
When it was pointed out that the governor was probably enjoying this, Hoylman responded, “I think the Senate Republicans enjoy it even more.”