The following statement was submitted by Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Yorktown.
Anything we can do to improve the transparency in Albany and to hold elected officials accountable is a necessary step; however, other than the requirement for more transparency in legislators’ reporting of clients doing business with Albany, the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 falls short of being a comprehensive “reset” of ethical reform.
It exemplifies the unfortunate reality that even ethics reform in Albany is mortally over-politicized. While I feel that this bill could go further in reforming our state’s notoriously-dysfunctional status quo, I reluctantly voted for this watered-down, over-politicized, virtually toothless “reform” bill, which will only affect future legislators – not those already in office.
While cleaning up Albany is a priority, back home in the three counties I represent, residents are more concerned with keeping their homes. They need property tax relief. Their local governments and schools need mandate relief. Their employers need less red tape and reduced taxes in order to stay in business.
With just one week of this year’s regularly-scheduled legislative session remaining, I implore legislative leaders and the governor to set their sights on the true priorities facing the people of our state – job creation and tax relief – instead of patting themselves on the back for finally agreeing that Albany is in need of reform.