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DeFrancisco: New laws are not the answer to ending Albany corruption

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News File Photo

One top Republican New York state lawmaker doesn’t think there is any kind of new law that will end the public corruption in Albany.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), who is deputy Senate majority leader, says he hears all the time from New Yorkers who say state laws should be changed to stop public corruption in Albany. But DeFrancisco notes that recent cases of corruption all involved elected officials or aides breaking the current laws.

"I truly believe that it’s not more laws that are necessary; it’s electing ethical people and secondly, it’s enforcing the laws that are in existence,” said the senator.

The leaders of both the state Senate and Assembly have been found guilty in corruption cases in the last year. And now a top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ensnared in an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving the governor’s many upstate economic development projects.

DeFrancisco says the legislature is partly to blame for this, becuase it approved programs like Start-Up NY.

“I don’t think there is enough oversight, I think it’s a program that never should have started and should be ending,” said DeFrancisco.

Start-Up NY gives the executive branch discretionary power over millions of dollars.

“The irony is, that the governor just rails against member items, because they were so horrible when legislators have it. And now we have one big member-item giver.”

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.