May 3, 2013
By Stephanie West
Albany, NY — New York State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced the Federal Corruption Loophole Closure Act (S.4807-A) and another bill (S.4836), which together close loopholes in the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 that exempted most elected officials in Albany who are convicted of felonies related to their elective office from forfeiture or reduction of their pensions.
Senator Hoylman said: “The indictments of public officials from both parties underscore the rotten and pervasive ‘pay-to-play’ culture in Albany. They also revealed glaring loopholes in the State’s new ethics laws, as was recently reported by The New York Times.
"First, the ethics reforms of 2011 apply only to legislators elected after 2011, exempting every legislator in office at the time. Legislation has been introduced to rectify this discrepancy through a state constitutional amendment. My bill (S.4836) solves this problem without the need for a cumbersome and lengthy constitutional amendment process by tying the acceptance of per diems for all legislators – not just those elected after 2011 – to an agreement to forfeit their pensions in the event of a felony conviction for corruption.
"Second, the 2011 ethics reforms do not apply to legislators convicted only in federal court. My bill S.4807-A closes this loophole and ensures that convicted public officials are subject to the pension ban no matter what court they are tried in, state or federal.
"We must take every opportunity available to help restore public confidence in state government, and I hope my colleagues in the State Senate will join me in supporting these two straightforward and common sense proposals.”