Reinvent Albany strongly supports strengthening ethics oversight and replacing the Joint Commission on Public Ethics with an independent commission. As part of this, we support the following legislation that strengthens the financial disclosure requirements for public officials. Financial disclosure statements allow the public and ethics oversight agencies to see potential conflicts of interest arising from appointed officials’ outside business dealings or those of their family members. However, financial disclosures are only so useful as they are complete, easy to analyze through open, machine-readable formats, and inclusive of enough public officials.
We support the following bills which will improve transparency of financial disclosure reporting and expand the scope of filers to include the members of Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs):
- A3334 (McDonald)/S1473 (Breslin) – requires electronic filing of disclosure statements (See Memo of Support)
- A3469 (McDonald)/S1500A (Breslin) – requires legislators and candidates for legislature to post financial disclosures statements on campaign websites (See Memo of Support)
- A5950A (Paulin)/S7439A (Skoufis) – requires disclosure statements from candidates for statewide office or the legislature be posted on the ethics commission’s website (See Memo of Support)
- A4847A (Abinanti)/S7362A (Skoufis) – requires members of REDCs to file disclosure statements (See Memo of Support)
- A6687 (Abinanti)/S1743 (Skoufis) – requires members of REDCs to file disclosure statements, and subjects them to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and Open Meetings Law (See Memo of Support)
We urge the legislature to pass these bills either individually, or as part of a broader ethics agreement.