Bills would limit use of campaign money and strip pensions of any official who breaches public trust
The Senate Democratic Conference April 15 unveiled a tough legislative ethics package designed to reform state government and combat the ongoing corruption issues facing New York state. The conference also announced their support for the principles of the governor’s legislative package, the “New York Public Trust Act.”
Sen. Terry Gipson (D-Rhinebeck) is the principal sponsor of legislation that would strengthen regulations regarding the use of campaign money. Gipson has previously sponsored legislation to prohibit the use of official position for political fundraising along with closing loopholes in campaign finance law that unfairly benefit large corporations.
“For too long unethical politicians have used their campaign accounts as personal ATMs and defrauded the public as a result,” Gipson said. “Closing the current loopholes in legislation governing campaign funds is a commonsense way to ensure these accounts are no longer utilized for non-campaign-related payments. Other legislation included in the ethics package:
- Retroactively strip pension benefits from any state or local official convicted of a felony involving breach of public trust.
- Outlaw the use of campaign money for criminal defense.
- Require that campaign contribution disclosure reports to the state Board of Elections indicate whether the contributor is a lobbyist.
- Require elected officials to post campaign donation information on their websites.
“The public has a right to know how every dollar is spent on political campaigns, and I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation,” Gipson concluded.