Praise For Clean Government Measures Proposed by Governor Cuomo
Governor Has Opened Door for Major Clean Contracting and Campaign Finance Reforms
Reinvent Albany appreciates the Governor reaching an agreement with State Comptroller DiNapoli which appears to restore Comptroller oversight over certain SUNY, CUNY, SUNY Research Foundation and Office of General Services (OGS) centralized contracts in conjunction with the Inspector General (IG). The agreement also gives the IG new oversight authority over all SUNY/CUNY nonprofit affiliates for which it can investigate complaints of fraud, waste, criminal activity, corruption or conflicts of interest and refer criminal acts for prosecution. Contractors, vendors, and stage agency grantees will additionally be required to certify no collusion or conflicts in bidding and disclose family, financial, and employment relationships between contractors and State officials or electeds.
Reinvent Albany strongly supports many of the clean government measures proposed in Governor Cuomo’s 2019/2020 budget. We agree with the Governor on a great number of his proposals, and we believe there is support in the legislature for many of them. We hope the Governor works closely with the Senate and Assembly to reach consensus and put those measures into law.
Reinvent Albany Strongly Supports Putting The Following Reforms into Law:
1. Granting pre-approval of SUNY/CUNY/OGS contracts to the Office of the State Comptroller and IG and other elements of the Cuomo-DiNapoli agreement.
2. Establishing a Database of Deals.
3. Banning corporate and LLC contributions.
4. Establishing public financing of elections.
5. Lowering contribution limits.
6. Disclosing lobbyists’ bundling of donations and campaign contributions 7. Applying the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) to the legislature
Proposals We Will Evaluate But Don’t Have a Position on Yet:
We support the intent of some of these proposals but will want to see the fine print.
1. Establishing a Lobbyist Code of Conduct. Requiring a duty to provide honest, accurate information to JCOPE and disclosing conflicts to government and their clients. 2. Closing the revolving door between political consultants and lobbyists. Political consultants would not be able to run a candidate’s campaign and then lobby that candidate if the candidate is elected. They would also not be able to lobby an elected and then run their campaign.
3. Reducing lobbying registration and reportable business thresholds to $500.
4. Increasing penalties and imposing debarment for false filings with JCOPE.
5. Banning lobbyists from making loans to candidates.
6. Extending the lobbying ban for departing employees to 5 years from 2.
1. Increasing disclosure of independent expenditures.
2. Banning employees from working on campaigns but letting them take a leave and be paid by the campaign.