As a recent poll shows his approval rating continuing to slide, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a trip through upstate New York Wednesday with a stop in Syracuse to push for his newly released campaign reform package.
The Public Trust Act, released Tuesday, would increase penalties and give new investigative powers surrounding corruption, and require more transparency surrounding political contributions.
It also would establish a new public campaign financing system that would go into effect in 2015, after next year's elections.
Cuomo admitted after his stump speech given at Syracuse University that it's unlikely the campaign finance reform aspect will pass the Legislature before the session ends June 20. He says the legislative leaders have told him they're not supportive of it.
He says it was the public financing that delayed release of the bill until the final days of the session.
"We had been working with a lot of the group before to see if we could come up with a consensus package that everybody agreed to," Cuomo said. "We were unable to do that, so I put forth my own proposal."
The governor has threatened legislative inaction with use of the Moreland Act. The decades-old law would allow him to establish a special committee to investigate corruption in Albany.
Cuomo says he took his message to the people instead of negotiating with the leadership in Albany.
"I don’t do my business in Albany," he said. "I do my business in Syracuse, and in Buffalo, and in Utica and on Long Island; talking to the people of the state. And then the people of the state actually lobby their elected officials to get things done."
There have been several scandals and arrests in the latter half of the legislative session this year.