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Cuomo says no to special session on ethics

New York State Senate


Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke publicly for the first time since the former leader of the Assembly was convicted on seven counts of corruption for abusing his powers to earn outside income. But, Cuomo said he does not think it’s the right time now for a special session on ethics reform.

Reform groups have called for a special session to fix corruption at the Capitol, but Cuomo said it’s too close to Hanukkah and Christmas now to hold one.

“I don’t think a special session is practical, we’re coming into the holiday season,” said Cuomo, who said reform will be on the agenda in January, when the new session begins.

December sessions have been held several times in the past, as recently as 2011 when Cuomo and the legislature met to extend extra income taxes on the wealthy.

The governor said he’s intrigued by proposals to switch to a full time legislature with no outside income allowed, but concedes there’s no appetite for it among lawmakers. The governor also said he wants to see how greater income disclosure rules passed earlier this year work first.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.