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The Time To Walk the Walk on Public Corruption is Long Overdue
 

The Time To Walk the Walk on Public Corruption is Long Overdue

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ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER BRIAN M. KOLB

ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER BRIAN M. KOLB
(R,C,I-CANANDAIGUA) AND CONFERENCE MEMBERS ISSUE CALL TO REMOVE PENSIONS OF CORRUPT OFFICIALS
AND ENACT LEADERSHIP TERM LIMITS

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    The Time To Walk the Walk on Public Corruption is Long Overdue The Time To Walk the Walk on Public Corruption is Long Overdue Document Transcript

    • For Release: IMMEDIATELY, April 30, 2013Contact: Michael Fraser, (518) 455-3751Follow Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb on Twitter and find him on FacebookASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER BRIAN M. KOLB(R,C,I-CANANDAIGUA) AND CONFERENCE MEMBERS ISSUECALL TO REMOVE PENSIONS OF CORRUPT OFFICIALSAND ENACT LEADERSHIP TERM LIMITS“The Time To Walk the Walk on Public Corruption is Long Overdue”Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua) today joined his fellowmembers of the Minority Conference to support two significant pieces of legislationaimed at addressing public corruption and improved accountability from legislativeleaders. The bills would remove pensions from individuals convicted of publiccorruption crimes, and institute term limits for legislative leaders and committee chairs.Both Minority-sponsored bills were considered by the Assembly Committees today.However, the Majority-led committees held up both pieces of anti-corruption legislation,eliminating the possibility of a debate or vote on the Assembly floor.“The time to walk-the-walk on public corruption is long overdue. We have proposed twoinitiatives that directly target the public corruption issue every legislator claims they aretrying to address. The Majority’s decision to delay the process isn’t only curious – it’sirresponsible,” Leader Kolb said. “Public officials who betray the trust of theirconstituents should be stripped of taxpayer-funded pensions – that’s just common sense.Putting term limits on legislative leaders facilitates new ideas, encourages freshperspectives, and eliminates the perception of ‘absolute power’ in Albany. I am proud torepresent a Conference that is actually being a part of the solution, rather than an ongoingpart of the problem.”Pension Forfeiture (A.4935, Stec)The Assembly Governmental Employees Committee today refused to move forward withMinority-sponsored legislation (A.4935, Stec) that calls for the removal of pension andretirement benefits from individuals convicted of felony offenses directly related to theirassigned duties while serving as elected officials or officers of the state.The “Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011” allowed for the forfeiture of pensions forpublic officials convicted of felony offenses, but applied to only those who entered officeafter the law took effect in November 2011. The reason for this is that the New YorkState Constitution Article 5; Section 7, prohibits the pension benefits of current publicemployees from being diminished or impaired.-MORE-
    • Leader Kolb and Conference Members Address Public CorruptionPage 2 – 4/30/13As part of his legislation, Assemblyman Daniel Stec (R,C,I-Queensbury) has proposed aConstitutional Amendment that would make all public officials subject to pensionforfeiture upon conviction, regardless of when they entered office. This bill has beenintroduced in the Assembly since 2010, but has been has never made it out of theGovernmental Employees Committee.Term Limits for Leaders (A.1571, Kolb)The Assembly Governmental Operations Committee today also held legislation (A.1571,Kolb) that limits the time any Assembly Member or Senator may serve as a legislativeleader or committee chair to no more than four consecutive two-year terms.This bill has been introduced in the Assembly since 2009, but has never made it out ofthe Governmental Operations Committee. The purpose would be to provide freshperspectives from legislators, allow a more open exchange of ideas and limit theaccumulation of power from long tenures of holding the same leadership position.In addition to calling for leadership term limits, Leader Kolb is the only legislative leaderwho does not receive outside income from other employment, who represents UpstateNew York and who has successfully owned and operated a business.Assemblyman Stec said, “I am disheartened that the Assembly Majority chose to bury mylegislation stripping elected officials of their state pension if they are convicted of afelony. It’s clear that the current system is broken and that our residents deserve betterthan having their hard-earned tax dollars going towards funding a cushy retirement forpoliticians who have abused the public trust.”Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island), the Ranker on theGovernmental Employees Committee said, “With elected officials throughout the statebehind bars and more facing criminal charges, it is deplorable that any legislator couldoppose such a common-sense, anti-corruption measure. Taxpayers cannot be expected tofund the retirement of a corrupt official who has betrayed the public trust. The public istired of business as usual at the Capitol, and unfortunately, this is a prime example of the‘Bad Old Days’ in Albany.”Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R,I-Peru), the Ranker on the Governmental OperationsCommittee said, “I support a state constitutional amendment that would ensure publicofficials who are convicted of a felony would lose their pensions. Convicted felonsshould not be entitled to taxpayer-funded retirement benefits. Every effort must be takento end political corruption, and this proposed constitutional amendment would allowvoters to send a strong message to their elected officials.”###