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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jane Corwin
ALBANY -- With less than two dozen regularly-scheduled legislative session days remaining, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, R-Clarence, reiterated her call that legislative leaders focus their priorities on enacting meaningful ethics and legislative reforms.

Tuesday, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for public corruption and two other former leaders of the state Senate have public corruption sentencing dates scheduled for later this month.

“As New Yorkers continue to learn from the media, the culture of corruption in New York politics runs deep. Our job as elected representatives is to serve our constituents – not ourselves –and there are too many high-level key players in our state who have been turning the other cheek to the corruption and dysfunction for far too long,” said Corwin. “We are in the second half of this year’s session and with only 21 days remaining, we are rapidly running out of time to pass the meaningful reforms that the citizens of this state want to see and deserve. We need reform now.”

Corwin said the top reform initiative she wants enacted this year is pension forfeiture for corrupt public officials. “It is unacceptable that over a year has gone by since a three-way leadership agreement was announced and yet no law exists. Without enacting the strongest deterrents, Albany’s three men continue to send the message across New York that they accept the status quo. I do not accept it. Neither does Western New York or the majority of taxpayers across the state,” she said. In fact, this week a Siena Research Institute poll showed that 97 percent of New Yorkers want the governor and state Legislature to enact reforms like pension forfeiture and term limits this year.

Corwin would also like to see an effort to increase transparency in state spending, particularly as it relates to future budget negotiations. She said, “Part of the reason New Yorkers are skeptical about how the state is spending their hard-earned tax dollars is that it is consistently done by three men in a room in secret, with no transparency or time for the media, public or even rank-and-file lawmakers to review the details and read the fine print. While proposals like the Buffalo Billion were certainly welcome to our local economy, the plan was concocted behind closed doors by Albany’s three men – two of whom have now been found guilty on other public corruption charges. Whether or not the Buffalo Billion was doled out illegally, the program and reputation of our state are now further tarnished and bring very serious questions about how and why key players continue to turn the other cheek when it comes to reform. This must be changed in order to protect the public trust and their investment in making New York their home and place of business.”

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