Cuomo Announces Major Ethics Reform Agreement
Albany, NY (WIBX) - Governor Andrew Cuomo has joined with state leaders to announce a major ethics reform deal reached with lawmakers. Cuomo says the move will remove some of the tarnish many residents think Albany is covered in. He said, "This is an historic piece of legislation, it is a major step forward. We talk about cleaning up Albany, this bill is actually going to do it," Cuomo said.
As part of the new Clean Up Albany Act, a new agency will police the executive and legislative branches of the government, along with lobbyists. The new measure will also require lawmakers who are also lawyers to disclose information about their clients, which will be made available to the public. Cuomo says the new reforms will bring increased transparency to Albany. The new bill is expected to be passed in the next several days and it will go into effect in January. Cleaning up corruption in Albany had been a large part of Cuomo's campaign when he ran for the governor's office.
Steven Younger, outgoing President of the New York State Bar Association said, "This is truly a historic moment for all New Yorkers. Government ethics has been at the top of our list at the state bar to get fixed in Albany all year. And this is not a 1000-percent fix but it goes a long way to finally bringing transparency to Albany." Younger goes onto say that enhanced disclosure of the income of public officials and the clients that they serve is a welcome change, but says he's optimistic about the future affects of the ethics reform because lawmakers were able to strike a balance between the types of cases and clients to disclose in an effort to protect the privacy of certain individuals such as divorce or criminal cases.