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It's a promising start,NFL Jerseys Store, but it falls short of the fundamental reform necessary when legislators, including the leader of the Assembly, have been getting indicted by the limo-load.
The deal between Heastie and Cuomo would also reform per-diem payments, requiring legislators to swipe an electronic card to prove they spent at least part of the day in Albany before collecting their $172 travel and accommodation stipend. We support that reform, but again, it seems like a bare minimum.
More detailed disclosure will help, but we need limits, too. Those who want to make lots of money, perhaps by representing unsavory legal clients, are free to do that in the private sector. But we need to make it harder for our public servants to be corrupted by greed, and the most effective way to do that is to limit the amount of money they can make outside their public salaries.
If we lived in a state that had already grappled with the basics of ethics reform,NFL Jerseys China Cheap, it would make sense to dig into gray areas, such as household income contributed by unmarried partners. But we live in New York, the untamed frontier of public ethics, and we need to start with the areas where most of the abuse is taking place.
The biggest problems, as with so many things,NFL Jerseys China, are being created by a small number of legislators, particularly those in leadership positions. We have seen with former Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, what an enormous mess one powerful and corrupt legislator can make and how deeply his actions can compromise the entire institution.
The current figure — $172 — seems like a fair maximum to us, but if a legislator drives in for the day from Queensbury and spends $20 on gas, $4 on coffee and $13 on lunch,Wholesale Jerseys China, then she should get back $37 and no more.
Outside income should not only be revealed but limited, as it is for members of the U.S. Congress and for elected representatives in many other states. All the details of Silver's earnings have not been revealed, but he was making far more money from outside sources than he was from his job in the Assembly. That is a formula for warping any worker's priorities.
Transparency is an important part of this crusade, but it's not enough. Sheldon Silver was revealing some of his outside income on financial disclosure forms but disguising it as legitimate. In reality, the money came from "bribes and kickbacks," according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
The reaction to the Heastie-Cuomo deal from Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is unfortunate. Rather than taking seriously the state's urgent need for ethics reform, he has responded with a snide suggestion that the governor's girlfriend, Sandra Lee, should be required to reveal her income because she lives with Cuomo.
According to a coalition of state government reform organizations, more than two-thirds of state lawmakers reported either no outside employment income or less than $20,000 in outside income on financial disclosure forms filed in 2014.
That is why reform that goes beyond the agreement between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the new Assembly speaker, Carl Heastie is necessary. Their proposal focuses on transparency. It would require lawmakers to disclose outside income that exceeds $1,000 and require those who work as lawyers or real estate brokers to identify clients who pay more than $5,000 and list the services provided.
But outside income should be low enough that legislators remain devoted to their public job. The U.S. Congress limits outside earned income to 15 percent of the highest salary paid to any sitting legislator,Jerseys China Wholesale. We think no New York legislator should earn more than a third of his or her annual income from outside sources.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Post-Star of Glens Falls on government ethics reform.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants a ban on all outside income, along with a boost in legislators' salaries, which are now $79,500. We wouldn't go that far.
Per-diem expenses vary. If you're Dan Stec or Betty Little driving down from Queensbury, you're going to spend a lot less than if you're Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes driving in from Buffalo. Receipts should be required, as they are in the business world, and reimbursement made for actual,Wholesale Jerseys Cheap, documented expenses.
March 21
One of the ironies of the current debate over ethics reform in the state Legislature, which has focused on outside income, is that most legislators earn little outside income or none at all.
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