As Leader of the Most Corrupt State, New York Governor Pitches Political Reforms
By Patrick Lohmann
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 10 proposals for preventing corruption in state government during his sixth of six "State of the State" addresses held this week statewide.
He acknowledged that there have been "more ethics reforms in the past six years than in the last 60" but still pushed forward his list, noting that those reforms apparently haven't been enough. He made his speech to about 500 Albany spectators, and the speech was broadcast live.
New York state is the most corrupt state in the country, based on the number of elected officials recently convicted, according to Politifact.
Some of the governor's proposals included:
--Constitutional amendments limited legislators' outside income and imposing term limits;
--Closing the so-called "LLC loophole," which allows special interests to circumvent campaign contribution limits;
--Making the legislature subject to the state's Freedom of Information Law;
--A version of public campaign financing; and
--State Inspector General oversight of non-profit organization associated with State University of New York and City University of New York schools.
The SUNY non-profits are at the center of a scandal enveloping a former Cuomo aide and others accused by federal prosecutors of corruption and bid-rigging. He introduced the reforms by listing the ways the public's trust has been breached by corrupt state politicians.
"It's happened in the legislature, the comptroller's office. It's happened in my own office," Cuomo said. "...People will do bad things. That's the nature of humanity, but we're going to have as many precautions as possible. We're going to make sure they're punished to the fullest extent of the law."
The governor spoke earlier Wednesday in Syracuse, and he's addressed audiences in Buffalo, New York City, Westchester County and Long Island. He's made announcements affecting each region and the whole state throughout the tour.
(c)2017 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.