State lawmakers discuss ethics reform after Cuomo resignation
In the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, state lawmakers say they’re turning their attention to the business at hand. Part of that will likely be working toward making Albany a more ethical place.
“We have an unfortunate history here in New York state that continues, and we need to turn that around,” said State Sen. John Mannion (D-Geddes). “People need to have faith in their elected leaders. That’s going to take legislation, and it’s going to take people in office doing the right thing.”
Lawmakers across party lines are looking for ways to bring more integrity to the state’s top office.
State Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) said ethics reform would be a good place to start.
"We have needed ethics reform in New York state for a long time,” said May. “Andrew Cuomo was an impediment to that, and I think we will get some of the changes that we need."
May said she’s hopeful the resignation may lead to changes in the state’s constitution because she said the governor in New York has tremendous power compared to other governors across the country.
Assemblywoman Pam Hunter (D-Syracuse) agrees that’s something worth examining.
"Perhaps the legislature needs to reel some of that back in, so it isn't just a heavily handed governor-led state, that there needs to be more inclusion into decision making," said Hunter.
State Senator Joe Griffo (R-Rome) said it’s also important for voters to do their research on gubernatorial candidates.
"I think people have to look at how you make choices because elections have consequences,” said Griffo. “We need to look into the behavior and personalities of these individuals when they're presenting themselves as a candidate."
The lawmakers said they hope to work collaboratively with Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was sworn into office at midnight on Tuesday.