To say this past year has been disconcerting, would be a grand understatement, as we watch leaders in the NYS legislature in Albany being indicted, and convicted. Yes, integrity, honesty and holding an elected office should go hand-in-hand, and we can expect it, and demand it. Time to demand the highest of ethical behavior from our elected representatives.
Many ideas are being kicked around already, as it is expected that there will be new legislation again this year to try to deal with this condition. Yes, it appears that it had almost become an accepted manner of behavior among some, so one can only assume that to some extent it is the culture of Albany that must be dealt with.
Let’s look to the real possibility of term limits, or a full-time legislature with no outside income, or a part-time legislature, or no fundraising during the legislative session, and zero tolerance. And let’s put a much lower cap on giving, both for the individual, and most particularly for the corporate and LLC crowd, the special interests, including, yes, unions , with consequences if those guidelines are ignored.
Time for action, and we all do expect it now, in the 2016 legislative session. The shame is that most of the legislators, many of whom I know well, are hard-working, dedicated public servants, who are living a difficult life being in Albany half the year involved in legislation, and yet expected to handle their district constituent responsibilities in the days they are home and throughout the year, truly 24/7. They are being seen in this broad-brush of Albany, and I would expect them to act, both for us, and for themselves.