New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) issued the following statement on today’s election of Carl Heastie as the new Speaker of the Assembly.
“With the election of a new Speaker behind us, it’s time for the Assembly Chamber to finally get to work on the people’s business. I congratulate Carl Heastie on his new role and wish him well moving forward. Our first order of business is also our most important duty – restoring the public’s trust in government and implementing ethics reforms that Assembly Republicans have called for since 2013.
New leadership opens up the potential for new opportunities. It is my sincere hope that the historic change in the Assembly Majority will also bring a different approach to the way we do business. While Democrats have recently supported reforms with their voice, they have consistently obstructed ethics reforms with their votes. For example:
- The Public Officers Accountability Act (A.7393) proposed sweeping anti-corruption reforms including term limits, restrictions on campaign spending, disclosure requirements, member-item reform and establishing a reliable, independent ethics panel. Democrats voted it down in committee, 9-4 in April 2014.
- Stripping pensions from officials convicted of public corruption crimes was proposed and is long overdue (A.4935). Democrats voted it down in committee, 8-6 in April 2013.
- Implementing term limits for legislative leaders and committee chairs (A.1571) curtails the accumulation of power and allows for fresh ideas and priorities. Democrats voted it down in committee, 10-4 in April 2013.
Common-sense anti-corruption legislation and critical ethics reforms have been on the shelf for two years. In that time, we’ve seen continued arrests of elected representatives, a compromised Moreland Commission and political scandal involving the Assembly Speaker that has further eroded the public’s trust in government. What we haven’t seen is change. Hopefully, with the election of Speaker Heastie, that change will start today.”