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UPDATED: Stec plans to 'drain the swamp' of political corruption in Albany

UPDATED: Stec plans to 'drain the swamp' of political corruption in Albany

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State Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, on Wednesday announced he and Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Troy, introduced legislation intended to “drain the swamp” of political corruption in Albany.

The legislation would restrict political contributions from companies bidding on government contracts, drastically reduce maximum contributions to candidates and political committees and impose eight-year term limits for legislative leaders.

“The overall issue is lack of trust in state government,” Stec said.

The legislation is in response to the recent convictions of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Long Island.

“We are in the midst of one of the most devastating strings of corruption cases in state history,” McLaughlin said.

Highlights of the bill:

  • The legislation would prohibit individuals, businesses and corporations that submit proposals for state contracts from making campaign contributions to state officials, political committees and independent political action committee during the bid process, and, if successful, for one year afterward.
  • It would reduce the campaign contribution limit that individuals, corporations, unions, lobbying groups and businesses can contribute to a candidate or political committee from $100,000 to $10,000.
  • It would limit the duration of legislative leadership positions to eight consecutive years.

The state Senate already has a rule limiting leadership positions to eight years. The legislation would add the weight of law to the rule and expand it to the Assembly.

“These are things that we’ve talked about, proposed and even voted on as rules changes in the past, but we’re trying to get them through as legislation now,” Stec said.

Stec said the legislation is intended to continue the theme of reform in legislation he has been pushing to remove state pensions from government officials convicted felonies in relation to their duties of office.

Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, said the newly proposed ethics reform legislation, on the surface, seems laudable, and she likely will co-sponsor it once she reviews detailed language.

Woerner said the provisions are similar to ethics reform legislation she co-sponsored with Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, D-Westchester.

Follow staff writer Maury Thompson at All Politics is Local blog, at PS_Politics on Twitter and at Maury Thompson Post-Star on Facebook.

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