The second half of New York’s legislative session begins today and it’s likely to be dominated by the response to on going bribery and corruption scandals that came to light while lawmakers were on spring break.
Government reform groups say they are pleased that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now proposed step one in his plan to clean up corruption in state government, following two high profile arrests of state lawmakers.
The scandal around state Sen. Malcolm Smith is continuing to have repercussions in both political parties and in every level of the state’s government. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on an upstate tour to promote the recently passed state budget, has been dogged by questions about the scandal instead.
A group pressing for public campaign financing has compiled a list of large corporations who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to some New York lawmakers. They charge that the donations are preventing the legislature from closing what they say are corporate tax loopholes.
Both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have talked campaign finance reform this week.
Credit Karen Dewitt / NYSPR
It now seems clear that 2013 will be the year in which campaign finance reform will be debated in Albany. But it’s not clear yet what shape the legislation will take, or whether public financing of campaigns will be included.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will soon introduce legislation to regulate electioneering activities by some not-for-profits that have become increasingly influential players in funding political campaigns.
With just two months left in the legislative session, advocates of campaign finance reform are pressing Governor Cuomo and the legislature to adopt a New York City style public financing system for the state.