YONKERS, N.Y. -- Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, and other members of the Senate Democratic Conference unveiled a package of legislation Monday aimed at the ongoing ethics crisis in state government.
The package of bills will cap legislators’ outside incomes, end the LLC loophole, bar elected officials from using campaign funds for criminal defense and personal use, and end the practice of taxpayer-funded reimbursements of legal fees.
The proposed legislation also includes measures to strip corrupt officials of taxpayer-funded pensions and reform how campaigns are funded.
“These scandals have become too common and are something that we must deal with immediately. We are facing a crisis of mistrust in Albany,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “The legislation offered by the Senate Democratic Conference will help rebuild the trust in our state government that has been rocked by repeated scandals. I urge the Senate Republicans to end their opposition to cleaning up Albany and finally join with the Senate Democratic Conference to pass these good government reforms.”
Stewart-Cousins' portion of the legislative package included the establishment of a public financing system for state campaigns.
Highlights of the bill include:
- Eligible contributions to candidates for statewide office up to $250 would be matched at the rate of $6 for every $1.
- Participating candidates could only receive donations of $2,000.
- Candidates who are unopposed in a general or special election may not receive public funds.
- All unspent public funds must be returned 30 days after the election.
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