Session is once again underway and now more than ever the League is fighting to ensure something, ANYTHING, gets done on ethics this session. Tuesday was a monumental day with former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver being handed a heft sentence of 12 years in prison, $1.75 million in fines, and an additional $5 million in forfeitures, for his underhanded backdoor deals while in power. The League and our good government allies held joint press conferences in Albany and New York City calling on the legislature to implement stronger reforms on ethics and campaign finance. Whether or not the Governor and legislature will heed our cries is to be determined later this session.
On Wednesday, the League attended an event which we co-sponsored with Common Cause and the Rockefeller Institute on voting modernization. We heard from two former Colorado election officials on how their state has modernized their voting system successfully. The system in place in Colorado is both cost effective and inclusive of all voters. We were delighted to see several New York State election officials in attendance including the State Board of Elections Commissioner, Peter Kosinski, and Co-Executive Directors, Robert Brehm and Todd Valentine. The panel was well received and the audience posed many interesting questions.
Next week the League will be extremely busy with our annual Lobby Day on May 10th. We expect to have a great showing from our members and anticipate our lobby visits will cover a wide range of topics that we are advocating for this session.