Enacts the "ethics in state government now act"; makes the ethics rules and financial disclosure applicable to the legislature and its employees stricter; re-establishes the membership of the legislative ethics commission.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the legislative law and the public officers law, in relation to state legislative ethics
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
This bill institutes a multi-faceted approach to reform the composition of the New York State Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC), the manner in which this Commission operates, and broadens its powers to more adequately and quickly enforce the state's ethics laws with regard to the actions of individual state legislators and legislative employees. In addition, the bill encourages the LEC, when appropriate, to coordinate its law enforcement activities with other law enforcement agencies and to cooperate more fully with the activities being conducted by the NYS Attorney General and Commission on Public Integrity to better enforce the State's Ethics Laws.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Provides the title for this act, the "Ethics in State Government Act".
Section 2: Amends Legislative Law section 80 to institute significant reforms to the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC). Those Reforms are as follows:
1) Legislative Law Section 80(1) - The LEC is reconstituted so that no currently sitting legislators can be part of the Commission's Board. Under current law, 4 legislators are appointed to the Commission by the four respective legislative leaders, and 5 additional members, who are private citizens, are also appointed by the same legislative leaders. The co-chairmen are selected respectively by the Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader. Under this bill, the four legislative leaders from the majority and minority would select 4 private citizens to sit on the Commission. In addition, the Governor, Attorney General, State Comptroller, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal, and Chairman of the Commission on Public Integrity (CPI) would all designate one member of the newly constituted Board. This means that legislators will no longer be able to or be forced to sit in judgment of their legislative colleagues or legislative staff. Newly appointed members should, by virtue of their education and training, have experience in the following disciplines, legislative, judicial, administrative, professional ethics, business, legal and academic.
2) Legislative Law section 80(2) - The Chairperson of the Commission, while still selected by the Senate President and Assembly Speaker, would need to be chosen from the five board members that were picked by the Governor, Attorney General, State comptroller, Court of Appeals, or CPI, not those members that were selected by legislative leaders. The Commission will truly become an independent body whose operations will be far more open to the public. This is because its
leadership shall come from outside of the environment of the state Legislature.
3) Legislative Law Section 80(7)(c) is amended to require that the commission shall operate pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Law (SAPA), and promulgate its rules according to all of the due process and open government principles contained in that act. In addition, public hearings conducted by the LBC shall be in accordance with the due process procedures contained in SAPA article 3, with the understanding that certain hearings, will not be open to the public to reflect concerns about the privacy interests of those subject to the hearings in question. Further, pursuant to SAPA, all LEC rulemakings, including its procedures for operation, must be promulgated in a manner so that the public can comment on proposed LEC rules before they are adopted and filed with the Secretary of state.
4) Legislative Law section 80(7) (h) is amended so that LEC staff, in addition to Commission members, are allowed to review all financial disclosure statements filed by members of the legislature.
5) Legislative Law section 80(7) (i) is revised and (j) is deleted. paragraph (i) allows regulated parties to request and receive permission from the Commission to delete from public view those items disclosed to the commission that had "no material bearing on the discharge of the employees duties". This provision is amended so that the Commission must review each requested item separately, and shall limit such deletions to the greatest extent possible that meets the grounds for such deletion. Paragraph (j) is deleted, which permits the commission to delete or not disclose information on the business activities of the regulated person's spouse or unemancipated children.
6) Legislative Law Section 80(7)(p) is revised so that certain relevant, but up to now confidential information about the activities of the commission, may be presented in the Commission's Annual Report. This provision shall help to open up to the public the workings of the commission.
7) Legislative Law section 80(9) - Reiterates that the LEC Executive Director and staff may inspect all financial disclosure statements filed by state legislators and legislative staff. In addition, the commission and its staff may reexamine previously submitted financial disclosure statements within the past five years if new information has come to light that may reveal a possible violation or violations of the state's Ethics Laws.
8) Legislative Law section 80(10) is amended so that there is a specific time line in which all persons under the jurisdiction of the LEC must file their financial disclosure statements. Further if the time line is not satisfied, the Commission may prosecute such violators.
9) Legislative Law Section 10 is amended to establish a solid time line in which the commission must act upon complaints that are submitted to this body: a) by private citizens of potential violations of the Ethics Laws, b) about acts or information it receives from outside sources that reveals a violation of the Ethics
Laws, or c) information it receives from the CPI or law enforcement agencies of potential violations of the Ethics Laws. Under current law, there is no procedure or time frame for processing such complaints, therefore, some of these complaints may not have been investigated in timely manner or not at all.
10) Legislative Law section 11 is amended to increase the penalties for violation of public officers Law 74(3) (a), (e), or (g) to no more than $ 10,000. Under current law, the civil penalty for violations of (a), (e), or (g) are merely the value of the gift or compensation that was illegally received by the assailant. Further, under current law, most violations of the Ethics law are civil in nature, even if the party is convicted of stealing or misappropriating public property or had violated the public trust. This bill allows for criminal penalties for such violations, and thereby allows the Attorney General or local District Attorney to prosecute these activities as crimes with punishments of fines or jail time. Also, the commission, in establishing its hearing rules, needs to abide by the principles of SAPA article 3, but can deviate to some extent, due to the unique situations that can occur in the State Legislature and due to the privacy considerations of those being examined.
Section 3: Amends the public Officers Law section 73 (the section that regulates business and professional activities by legislative personnel) to add a new subsection (14-a). This section adds new prohibitions that apply exclusively to state legislators or legislative employees who are policy makers. Under this amendment, no state legislator or legislative employee who is a policymaker may not only not participate in any decision to hire or promote a relative within the state Legislature (the current law), but it will also prohibit such hires of their relatives if they have any knowledge of such hire or helped to process the paperwork for such hire in any way for relatives in the same legislative chamber. With this provision, a state legislator who even knows that a relative is being hired within the State Legislature (the chamber in which the regulated party works also) will be culpable of the crime of nepotism. This significantly expands the prohibition against nepotism and hopefully will actively encourage legislators not to indirectly encourage the hiring of their relatives.
Section 4: This is a new section that was added by this amended bill to Amend Public Officers Law section 73-a(3) which relates to the Categories of income that must be disclosed when filing ethics disclosure statements. Under current law, the Categories are skewed towards the lower end of the income received. While in Category F, anything above $250,000 is lumped into one Category. So if a legislator received over $250,000 or $10,000,000 or more in compensation, it is all disclosed as being category F. Under this bill, the disclosure amounts are geared towards better disclosure of large amounts of compensation, unlike the current law. Under this bill, the new Categories are more specific to enhance disclosure. Those new Categories are: Category C shifts downward from, $20,000 - $60,000 to $20,000 $$40,000; Category D shifts downward from $60,000 - $100,000 to $$40,00 $60,000; Category E shifts downward from $100,000 - $250,000 to $60,000 $100,000; Category F shifts downward from $250,000
to anything above $250,000 to $100,000 - $150,000; and a new Category G is added to disclose income above $150,000 and above, further, in this Category, the applicant must state the actual amount of compensation rounded to the nearest ten thousand dollars. This provision will give a much more accurate picture of what legislators are earning outside of their legislative pay.
Section 5: This is a new section that was added b this new amended bill to Amend the Public Officers Law section 73-a (3). The purpose of this section of law is to require legislators and legislative employees who are members of a law firm, consulting firm, real estate firm, or registered lobbyist with the State of New York or any municipality, must disclose any of their clients in which they solicited a contract from the State or local government, appeared before a state agency or local government agency, or who had clients that were lobbyists registered with the state or local government (for any matter what so ever). In addition, the legislator, must disclose the same information for an of their firm's partners, associates, or members that have such clients that have solicited contracts from the state, represented a client before a government agency, or represented a person who is registered as a lobbyist for the State or a local government.
Section 6: Amends public Officers Law section 74(3) to add additional standards to the Code of Ethics. One provision, (3) (a) requires that an individual who is to be retained by the State Legislature, must leave his or her other employment if there may reasonably be a conflict of interest or such other employment may impair their independence of judgment. Also, section 74(3) (g) is amended so that a member of the legislature or legislative employee should abstain from making personal investments in businesses that he or she has reason to believe they will be involved in decisions that affect that business.
Recent events have created a desire in the public and within the Legislature to ensure that ethics oversight of the State Legislature is independent, transparent and accountable to the general public. The current embodiment of Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) needs to be reformed so that none of its commission members are sitting legislators or legislative staff. In addition the LEC needs additional powers to investigate possible violations the State's Ethics Laws and a better ability to coordinate its law enforcement activities with the commission on public Integrity, the NYS Attorney General and local District Attorneys. Further, legislators and legislative employees must more accurate disclose who they represent in their private practices that have interests in the activities of state or local government, and very importantly the magnitude of the income they or their firms receive based on such representation or association.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010 - S.6159 - Referred to Finance
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 573--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the legislative law and the public officers law, in relation to state legislative ethics THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "ethics in state government now act". S 2. Section 80 of the legislative law, as amended by chapter 14 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: S 80. Legislative ethics commission; functions, powers and duties; review of financial disclosure statements; advisory opinions; investi- gation and enforcement. 1. There is established a legislative ethics commission which shall consist of nine members. Four members shall be
[members of the legisla- ture and shall be]appointed as follows: one by the temporary president of the senate, one by the speaker of the assembly, one by the minority leader of the senate and one by the minority leader of the assembly. [The remaining five]SUCH FOUR members shall not be present or former members of the legislature, candidates for member of the legislature, employees of the legislature, political party chairmen as defined in paragraph (k) of subdivision one of section seventy-three of the public officers law, or lobbyists, as defined in section one-c of this chapter, or persons who have been employees of the legislature, political party chairmen as defined in paragraph (k) of subdivision one of section seventy-three of the public officers law, or lobbyists, as defined in section one-c of this chapter in the previous five years [, and shall be appointed as follows: one by the temporary president of the senate, one. THE LEGIS- LATIVE LEADERS SHALL APPOINT INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE QUALIFIED TO SERVE ON THE COMMISSION BY VIRTUE OF THEIR EDUCATION, TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE IN ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING DISCIPLINES: LEGISLATIVE, JUDICIAL, ADMIN- ISTRATIVE OR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS; BUSINESS; LAW; AND/OR ACADEMICS. FIVE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION SHALL BE APPOINTED AS FOLLOWS: ONE BY THE GOVERNOR, ONE BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ONE BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER, ONE BY THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS AND ONE BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION ON PUBLIC INTEGRITY. THE CHAIR OF THE LEGISLATIVE ETHICS COMMISSION SHALL BE jointly DESIGNATED by the speaker of the assembly andEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04856-03-1 S. 573--A 2
by the speaker of the assembly, one by the minority leader of the senate, one by the minority leader of the assembly, and one]
[majority leader]THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT of the senate FROM AMONGST THE FIVE MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, STATE COMPTROLLER, CHIEF JUDGE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS AND CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION ON PUBLIC INTEGRITY. NO MORE THAN FIVE MEMBERS OF THE COMMIS- SION SHALL BELONG TO THE SAME POLITICAL PARTY. The commission shall serve as described in this section and have and exercise the powers and duties set forth in this section only with respect to members of the legislature, legislative employees as defined in section seventy-three of the public officers law, candidates for member of the legislature and individuals who have formerly held such positions or who have formerly been such candidates. 2. [Members of the legislature who serve on the commission shall each have a two year term concurrent with their legislative terms of office.]The members of the commission [who are not members of the legislature and]who are first appointed, AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHAPTER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND ELEVEN WHICH AMENDED THIS SECTION, by the temporary president of the senate, speaker of the assembly, minority leader of the senate, and minority leader of the assembly shall serve one, two, three and four year terms, respectively. THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION WHO ARE FIRST APPOINTED, AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHAPTER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND ELEVEN WHICH AMENDED THIS SECTION, BY THE GOVERNOR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, STATE COMPTROLLER, CHIEF JUDGE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION ON PUBLIC INTEGRITY SHALL SERVE TERMS OF FOUR YEARS. The [member]CHAIR of the commission [first appointed]DESIGNATED jointly by the TEMPORARY president of the senate and speaker of the assembly shall serve a four year term AS CHAIR. Each member of the commission [who is not a member of the legis- lature]shall be appointed thereafter for a term of four years. 3. [The temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly shall each designate one member of the commission as a co-chairperson thereof.]The commission shall meet at least bi-monthly and at such additional times as may be called for by the [co-chairper- sons jointly]CHAIR or any five members of the commission. 4. Any vacancy occurring on the commission shall be filled within thirty days by the appointing authority. 5. Five members of the commission shall constitute a quorum, and the commission shall have power to act by majority vote of the total number of members of the commission without vacancy. 6. The members of the commission shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties. 7. The commission shall: a. Appoint an executive director who shall act in accordance with the policies of the commission; b. Appoint such other staff as are necessary to assist it to carry out its duties under this section;S. 573--A 3
c. Adopt, amend, and rescind policies, rules and regulations consist- ent with this section to govern procedures of the commission which shall
[not]be subject to the promulgation and hearing requirements of the state administrative procedure act; d. Administer the provisions of this section; e. Specify the procedures whereby a person who is required to file an annual financial disclosure statement with the commission may request an additional period of time within which to file such statement, due to justifiable cause or undue hardship; such rules or regulations shall provide for a date beyond which in all cases of justifiable cause or undue hardship no further extension of time will be granted; f. Promulgate guidelines to assist appointing authorities in determin- ing which persons hold policy-making positions for purposes of section seventy-three-a of the public officers law and may promulgate guidelines to assist firms, associations and corporations in separating affected persons from net revenues for purposes of subdivision ten of section seventy-three of the public officers law, and promulgate guidelines to assist any firm, association or corporation in which any present or former statewide elected official, state officer or employee, member of the legislature or legislative employee, or political party chairman is a member, associate, retired member, of counsel or shareholder, in complying with the provisions of subdivision ten of section seventy- three of the public officers law with respect to the separation of such present or former statewide elected official, state officer or employee, member of the legislature or legislative employee, or political party chairman from the net revenues of the firm, association or corporation. Such firm, association or corporation shall not be required to adopt the procedures contained in the guidelines to establish compliance with subdivision ten of section seventy-three of the public officers law, but if such firm, association or corporation does adopt such procedures, it shall be deemed to be in compliance with such subdivision ten; g. Make available forms for financial disclosure statements required to be filed pursuant to subdivision six of section seventy-three and section seventy-three-a of the public officers law; h. Review financial disclosure statements in accordance with the provisions of this section, provided however, that the commission may delegate all or part of the review function relating to financial disclosure statements filed by MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE AND legisla- tive employees pursuant to sections seventy-three and seventy-three-a of the public officers law to the executive director who shall be responsi- ble for completing staff review of such statements in a manner consist- ent with the terms of the commission's delegation; i. Permit [any person]A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE, A CANDIDATE FOR MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE OR A LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEE required to file a financial disclosure statement to request the commission to delete from the copy thereof made available for public inspection and copying [one or more items]OF ALL OR A PORTION OF AN ITEM of information INCLUDED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (C) OF PARAGRAPH EIGHT OF SUCH FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATE- MENT, which may be deleted by the commission upon a finding that the information which would otherwise be required to be disclosed will have no material bearing on the discharge of the reporting person's official duties, OR WHICH WOULD CAUSE A VIOLATION OF THE CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS OF THE PROFESSION IN WHICH THE APPLICANT IS ENGAGED. THE COMMIS- SION IN GRANTING DELETIONS PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH, SHALL CONSIDER EACH ITEM OF INFORMATION REQUESTED TO BE DELETED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS,S. 573--A 4
AND SHALL LIMIT ANY DELETIONS PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH TO THE GREATEST EXTENT THAT IS NECESSARY TO SUPPORT THE GROUNDS FOR THE DELETION; j.
[Permit any person required to file a financial disclosure state- ment to request an exemption from any requirement to report one or more items of information which pertain to such person's spouse or unemanci- pated children which item or items may be exempted by the commission upon a finding that the reporting individual's spouse, on his or her own behalf or on behalf of an unemancipated child, objects to providing the information necessary to make such disclosure and that the information which would otherwise be required to be reported will have no material bearing on the discharge of the reporting person's official duties; k.]Advise and assist the legislature in establishing rules and regu- lations relating to possible conflicts between private interests and official duties of present members of the legislature and legislative employees; [l.]K. Receive and act PURSUANT TO ARTICLE THREE OF THE STATE ADMIN- ISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT on complaints regarding persons subject to its jurisdiction alleging a possible violation of section seventy-three, seventy-three-a or seventy-four of the public officers law, and conduct such investigations and proceedings as are authorized and necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. In connection with such inves- tigations, the commission may administer oaths or affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance and require the production of any books or records which it may deem relevant or material; [m.]L. Accept and act upon, as if it were a sworn complaint, any referral from another state oversight body indicating that a violation of section seventy-three, SEVENTY-THREE-A or seventy-four of the public officers law may have occurred involving persons subject to the juris- diction of the commission; [n.]M. Upon written request from any person who is subject to the jurisdiction of the commission and the requirements of sections seven- ty-three, seventy-three-a and seventy-four of the public officers law, render formal advisory opinions on the requirements of said provisions. A formal opinion rendered by the commission, until and unless amended or revoked, shall be binding on the commission in any subsequent proceeding concerning the person who requested the opinion and who acted in good faith, unless material facts were omitted or misstated by the person in the request for an opinion. Such opinion may also be relied upon by such person, and may be introduced and shall be a defense in any criminal or civil action; [o.]N. Issue and publish generic advisory opinions covering questions frequently posed to the commission, or questions common to a class or defined category of persons, or that will tend to prevent undue repe- tition of requests or undue complication, and which are intended to provide general guidance and information to persons subject to the commission's jurisdiction; [p.]O. Develop educational materials and training with regard to legislative ethics for members of the legislature and legislative employees; and [q.]P. Prepare an annual report to the governor and legislature summarizing the activities of the commission during the previous year and recommending any changes in the laws governing the conduct of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, or the rules, regulations and procedures governing the commission's conduct. Such report shall include: (i) a listing by assigned number of each complaint and referral received which alleged a possible violation within itsS. 573--A 5
jurisdiction, including the current status of each complaint, and (ii) where a matter has been resolved, the date and nature of the disposition and any sanction imposed
[, subject to the confidentiality requirements of this section]. Such annual report shall not contain any information for which disclosure is not permitted pursuant to subdivision fourteen of this section. 8. The commission, or the executive director and staff of the commis- sion if responsibility regarding such financial disclosure statements filed by MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE AND legislative employees has been delegated, shall inspect all financial disclosure statements filed with the commission to ascertain whether any person subject to the reporting requirements of subdivision six of section seventy-three or section seventy-three-a of the public officers law has failed to file such a statement, has filed a deficient statement or has filed a statement which reveals a possible violation of section seventy-three, seventy- three-a or seventy-four of the public officers law. THE COMMISSION, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OR STAFF OF THE COMMISSION MAY REEXAMINE ANY PREVI- OUSLY SUBMITTED FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT THAT HAS BEEN FILED WITH- IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS IF NEW INFORMATION HAS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF THE COMMISSION WHICH MAY REVEAL A POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF SECTION SEVEN- TY-THREE, SEVENTY-THREE-A OR SEVENTY-FOUR OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW. 9. If a person required to file a financial disclosure statement with the commission has failed to file a financial disclosure statement or has filed a deficient statement, the commission shall notify the report- ing person in writing, state the failure to file or detail the deficien- cy, provide the person with a fifteen day period to cure the deficiency, and advise the person of the penalties for failure to comply with the reporting requirements. Such notice shall be confidential. If the person fails to make such filing or fails to cure the deficiency within the specified time period, the commission shall send a notice of delinquen- cy: (a) to the reporting person; (b) in the case of a senator, to the temporary president of the senate, and if a member of assembly, to the speaker of the assembly; and (c) in the case of a legislative employee, to the appointing authority for such person and to the temporary presi- dent of the senate and/or the speaker of the assembly, as the case may be, who has jurisdiction over such appointing authority. Such notice of delinquency may be sent at any time during the reporting person's service as a member of the legislature or legislative employee or while a candidate for member of the legislature, or within one year after separation from such service or the termination of such candidacy. The jurisdiction of the commission, when acting pursuant to subdivision eleven of this section with respect to financial disclosure, shall continue notwithstanding that the reporting person separates from state service or terminates his or her candidacy, provided the commission notifies such person of the alleged failure to file or deficient filing pursuant to this subdivision. 10. a. If a reporting person has filed a statement which reveals a possible violation of section seventy-three, seventy-three-a or seven- ty-four of the public officers law, or the commission receives a refer- ral from another state oversight body, OR THE COMMISSION RECEIVES OR DISCOVERS INFORMATION AT ANY TIME THAT REVEALS A POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF SECTION SEVENTY-THREE, SEVENTY-THREE-A OR SEVENTY-FOUR OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, or the commission receives a sworn complaint alleging such a violation by a reporting person or a legislative employee subject to the provisions of such laws, or if the commission determines on its own initiative to investigate a possible violation by a reporting person orS. 573--A 6
a legislative employee subject to the provisions of such laws, the commission shall notify the reporting person in writing, describe the possible or alleged violation thereof and provide the person with a fifteen day period in which to submit a written response setting forth information relating to the activities cited as a possible or alleged violation of law. If the commission thereafter makes a determination that further inquiry is justified, it shall give the reporting person an opportunity to be heard. THE COMMISSION SHALL REVIEW AND MAKE AN AFFIR- MATIVE DETERMINATION ON SUCH POSSIBLE VIOLATION WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF SUCH REPORTING INDIVIDUAL'S WRITTEN RESPONSE. THE COMMISSION MAY EXTEND SUCH THIRTY DAY PERIOD OF TIME ONCE FOR AN ADDITIONAL THIRTY DAYS. The commission shall also inform the reporting individual of its rules regarding the conduct of adjudicatory proceedings and appeals and the due process procedural mechanisms available to such individual. If the commission determines at any stage of the proceeding, that there is no violation or that any potential conflict of interest violation has been rectified, it shall so advise the reporting person and the complainant, if any. All of the foregoing proceedings shall be confidential. b. If the commission determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, OR THAT A REQUIRED FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT HAS NOT BEEN FILED ON A TIMELY BASIS AFTER ALL EXTENSIONS TO FILE HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED OR THAT A FILED FINANCIAL STATE- MENT IS MATERIALLY INCOMPLETE OR INACCURATE, it shall send a notice of reasonable cause: (i) to the reporting person; (ii) to the complainant if any; (iii) in the case of a senator, to the temporary president of the senate, and if a member of the assembly, to the speaker of the assembly; and (iv) in the case of a legislative employee, to the appointing authority for such person and to the temporary president of the senate and/or the speaker of the assembly, as the case may be, who has jurisdiction over such appointing authority. c. The jurisdiction of the commission when acting pursuant to this section shall continue notwithstanding that a member of the legislature or a legislative employee separates from state service, or a candidate for member of the legislature ceases to be a candidate, provided that the commission notifies such individual of the alleged violation of law pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision within one year from his or her separation from state service or the termination of his or her candidacy. Nothing in this section shall serve to limit the jurisdiction of the commission in enforcement of subdivision eight of section seven- ty-three of the public officers law. 11. An individual subject to the jurisdiction of the commission who knowingly and intentionally violates the provisions of subdivisions two through five, seven, eight, twelve, fourteen or fifteen of section seventy-three of the public officers law or a reporting individual who knowingly and wilfully fails to file an annual statement of financial disclosure or who knowingly and wilfully with intent to deceive makes a false statement or gives information which such individual knows to be false on such statement of financial disclosure filed pursuant to section seventy-three-a of the public officers law shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed forty thousand dollars and the value of any gift, compensation or benefit received as a result of such violation. Any such individual who knowingly and intentionally violates the provisions of paragraph A, b, c, d, E, G or i of subdivision three of section seventy-four of the public officers law shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars and the value of any gift, compensation or benefit received as a result of suchS. 573--A 7
[Any such individual who knowingly and intentionally violates the provisions of paragraph a, e or g of subdivision three of section seventy-four of the public officers law shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount equal to the value of any gift, compensation or benefit received as a result of such violation.]Assessment of a civil penalty hereunder shall be made by the commission with respect to persons subject to its jurisdiction. In assessing the amount of the civil penalties to be imposed, the commission shall consider the seri- ousness of the violation, the amount of gain to the individual and whether the individual previously had any civil or criminal penalties imposed pursuant to this section, and any other factors the commission deems appropriate. For a violation of this section, other than for conduct which constitutes a violation of subdivision twelve, fourteen or fifteen of section seventy-three or section seventy-four of the public officers law, OR FOR A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION OF SECTION SEVEN- TY-THREE-A OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, the legislative ethics commission may, in lieu of a civil penalty, refer a violation to the appropriate prosecutor and upon such conviction, but only after such referral, such violation shall be punishable as a class A misdemeanor. A civil penalty for false filing may not be imposed hereunder in the event a category of "value" or "amount" reported hereunder is incorrect unless such reported information is falsely understated. [Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no other penalty, civil or criminal may be imposed for a failure to file, or for a false filing, of such statement, or a violation of section seventy-three of the public officers law, except that the appointing authority may impose disciplinary action as otherwise provided by law.]The legislative ethics commission shall be deemed to be an agency within the meaning of article three of the state administrative procedure act and shall adopt rules governing the conduct of adjudicatory proceedings and appeals taken pursuant to a proceeding commenced under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules relating to the assessment of the civil penalties herein author- ized [and commission denials of requests for certain deletions or exemptions to be made from a financial disclosure statement as author- ized in paragraph i or paragraph j of subdivision seven of this section]. Such rules [, which shall not be subject to the promulgation and hearing requirements of the state administrative procedure act,]shall provide for due process procedural mechanisms substantially simi- lar to those set forth in such article three but such mechanisms need not be identical in terms or scope. Assessment of a civil penalty or commission denial of such a deletion [or exemption request]shall be final unless modified, suspended or vacated within thirty days of impo- sition, with respect to the assessment of such penalty, or unless such denial of request is reversed within such time period, and upon becoming final shall be subject to review at the instance of the affected report- ing individuals in a proceeding commenced against the legislative ethics commission, pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. 12. If the commission has a reasonable basis to believe that any person subject to the jurisdiction of another state oversight body may have violated section seventy-three or seventy-four of the public offi- cers law, section one hundred seven of the civil service law, or article one-A of this chapter, it shall refer such violation to such oversight body unless the commission determines that such a referral would compro- mise the prosecution or confidentiality of its investigations and, if so, shall make such a referral as soon as practicable. The referral byS. 573--A 8
the commission shall include any information relating thereto coming into the custody or under the control of the commission at any time prior or subsequent to the time of the referral. 13. A copy of any notice of delinquency or notice of reasonable cause sent pursuant to subdivisions nine and ten of this section shall be included in the reporting person's file and be available for public inspection and copying. 14. a. Notwithstanding the provisions of article six of the public officers law, the only records of the commission which shall be avail- able for public inspection and copying are: (1) the information set forth in an annual statement of financial disclosure filed pursuant to section seventy-three-a of the public offi- cers law
[except the categories of value or amount which shall be confi- dential, and any other item of information deleted pursuant to paragraph i of subdivision seven of this section]; (2) financial disclosure statements filed pursuant to subdivision six of section seventy-three of the public officers law; (3) notices of delinquency sent under subdivision nine of this section; (4) notices of reasonable cause sent under paragraph b of subdivision ten of this section; (5) notices of civil assessment imposed under this section which shall include a description of the nature of the alleged wrongdoing, the procedural history of the complaint, the findings and determinations made by the commission, and any sanction imposed; (6) the terms of any settlement or compromise of a complaint or refer- ral which includes a fine, penalty or other remedy; (7) generic advisory opinions; and (8) all reports required by this section. b. Notwithstanding the provisions of article seven of the public offi- cers law, no meeting or proceeding of the commission shall be open to the public, except if expressly provided otherwise by this section or the commission. 15. Within one hundred twenty days of the effective date of this subdivision, the commission shall create and thereafter maintain a publicly accessible website which shall set forth the procedure for filing a complaint with the commission, and which shall contain the documents identified in subdivision fourteen of this section, other than financial disclosure statements, and any other records or information which the commission determines to be appropriate. 16. This section shall not revoke or rescind any policies, rules, regulations or advisory opinions issued by the legislative ethics [committee]COMMISSION in effect upon the effective date of this subdi- vision, to the extent that such regulations or opinions are not incon- sistent with any laws of the state of New York. The legislative ethics commission shall undertake a comprehensive review of all such policies, rules, regulations or advisory opinions which will address the consist- ency of such policies, rules, regulations or advisory opinions with the laws of the state of New York. The legislative ethics commission shall, before April first, two thousand eight, report to the governor and legislature regarding such review and shall propose any regulatory changes and issue any advisory opinions necessitated by such review. 17. Separability clause. If any part or provision of this section or the application thereof to any person is adjudged by a court of compe- tent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, such judgment shall not affect or impair any other part or provision or theS. 573--A 9
application thereof to any other person, but shall be confined to such part or provision. S 3. Section 73 of the public officers law is amended by adding two new subdivisions 14-a and 14-b to read as follows: 14-A. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION FOURTEEN OF THIS SECTION, NO MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE OR LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEE, AS DEFINED BY PARAGRAPH (D) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION SEVENTY-THREE-A OF THIS ARTICLE, SHALL PARTICIPATE IN ANY DECISION TO HIRE, PROMOTE, PROCESS EMPLOYMENT PAPERWORK FOR OR HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYMENT OR CHANGE OF EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF ANY RELATIVE FOR ANY COMPENSATED POSITION AT, FOR OR WITHIN THE SAME LEGISLATIVE CHAMBER WHICH EMPLOYS SUCH MEMBER OR LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEE. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO PERSONS TO WHICH PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION FOURTEEN OF THIS SECTION APPLIES. 14-B. IN ADDITION TO THE INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION SEVENTY-THREE-A OF THIS ARTICLE, EVERY MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE AND LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEE SHALL DISCLOSE THE NAMES OF ALL RELATIVES WHO ARE EMPLOYED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND THE DEGREE OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP. S 4. Paragraph 3 of subdivision 3 of section 73-a of the public offi- cers law, as added by chapter 813 of the laws of 1987, the third and fourth undesignated paragraphs as added by chapter 242 of the laws of 1989, is amended to read as follows: 3. The annual statement of financial disclosure shall contain the information and shall be in the form set forth hereinbelow: ANNUAL STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE - (For calendar year ________) 1. Name ______________________________________________________________ 2. (a) Title of Position _____________________________________________ (b) Department, Agency or other Governmental Entity _______________ (c) Address of Present Office _____________________________________ (d) Office Telephone Number _______________________________________ 3. (a) Marital Status ______________. If married, please give spouse's full name including maiden name where applicable. _____________________________________________________________ . (b) List the names of all unemancipated children. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Answer each of the following questions completely, with respect to calendar year _________, unless another period or date is otherwise specified. If additional space is needed, attach additional pages. Whenever a "value" or "amount" is required to be reported herein, such value or amount shall be reported as being within one of the following Categories: Category A - under $5,000; Category B - $5,000 to under $20,000; Category C - $20,000 to under
[$60,000]$40,000; Category D - [$60,000]$40,000 to under [$100,000]$60,000; Category E - [$100,000]$60,000 to under [$250,000]$100,000; [and]Category F - [$250,000 or over]$100,000 TO UNDER $150,000; AND CATEGORY G - $150,000 OR OVER. AS. 573--A 10
reporting individual shall indicate the Category by letter only; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT, FOR A VALUE OR AMOUNT IN CATEGORY G, THE REPORTING INDIVIDUAL SHALL STATE SUCH VALUE OR AMOUNT ROUNDED TO THE NEAREST TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Whenever "income" is required to be reported herein, the term "income" shall mean the aggregate net income before taxes from the source identi- fied. The term "calendar year" shall mean the year ending the December 31st preceding the date of filing of the annual statement. S 5. Paragraph 8 of subdivision 3 of section 73-a of the public offi- cers law is amended by adding two new subparagraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows: (C) IF THE REPORTING INDIVIDUAL IS A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE, A CANDIDATE FOR MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE OR A LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEE, AND PRACTICES LAW, IS LICENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AS A REAL ESTATE BROKER OR AGENT, PROVIDES CONSULTING SERVICES OR IS A LOBBYIST AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE ONE-A OF THE LEGISLATIVE LAW, AND RECEIVED COMPEN- SATION IN EXCESS OF $1,000 FOR APPEARANCES BEFORE A STATE OR MUNICIPAL AGENCY, OR FROM SOLICITING ANY CONTRACT TO PROVIDE SERVICES OR GOODS TO A STATE OR MUNICIPAL AGENCY, WITH RESPECT TO MATTERS OTHER THAN MINIS- TERIAL MATTERS, OR FROM REPRESENTING A CLIENT WHO IS A LOBBYIST OR EMPLOYS A LOBBYIST, PROVIDE THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE CLIENTS, THE NATURE OF THE SERVICES PROVIDED, AND THE CATEGORY OF VALUE. CLIENT ADDRESS NATURE OF SERVICES CATEGORY OF VALUE ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ (D) IF THE REPORTING INDIVIDUAL IS A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE, A CANDIDATE FOR MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE OR A LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEE, AND A MEMBER, EMPLOYEE, RETIRED MEMBER, OF COUNSEL OR SHAREHOLDER OF A FIRM, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION THAT PRACTICES LAW, IS LICENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE TO PROVIDE REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE SERVICES, PROVIDES CONSULTING SERVICES OR ENGAGES IN LOBBYING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE-A OF THE LEGISLATIVE LAW, WHEN THE REPORTING INDIVIDUAL RECEIVED COMPENSATION IN EXCESS OF $1,000 FROM SUCH FIRM, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION WHEN THE FIRM, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION OR AN EMPLOYEE THEREOF APPEARED BEFORE A STATE OR MUNICIPAL AGENCY, OR SOLICITED ANY CONTRACT TO PROVIDE SERVICES OR GOODS TO A STATE OR MUNICIPAL AGENCY, WITH RESPECT TO MATTERS OTHER THAN MINISTERIAL MATTERS, OR FROM REPRESENTING A CLIENT WHO IS A LOBBYIST OR EMPLOYS A LOBBYIST, PROVIDE THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE CLIENTS, THE NATURE OF THE SERVICES PROVIDED, AND THE CATEGORY OF VALUE PAID FOR SUCH SERVICES. CLIENT ADDRESS NATURE OF SERVICES CATEGORY OF VALUE ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ S 6. Paragraphs a, b, d and g of subdivision 3 of section 74 of the public officers law, paragraphs a, b and g as amended by chapter 1012 of the laws of 1965 and paragraph d as amended by chapter 1 of the laws of 2010, are amended to read as follows: a. No officer or employee of a state agency, member of the legislature or legislative employee should accept, NOR RETAIN UPON ACCEPTANCE OF EMPLOYMENT BY THE LEGISLATURE, other employment which
[will]MAY REASON- ABLY impair his OR HER independence of judgment in the exercise of his OR HER official duties.S. 573--A 11
b. No officer or employee of a state agency, member of the legislature or legislative employee should accept employment or engage in any busi- ness or professional activity which
[will]MAY REASONABLY require him OR HER to disclose confidential information which he OR SHE has gained by reason of his OR HER official position or authority. d. No officer or employee of a state agency, member of the legislature or legislative employee should use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or herself, HIS OR HER RELATIVE, AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (M) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION SEVENTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, or others, including but not limited to, the misappropriation to himself, herself, HIS OR HER RELATIVE, AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (M) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION SEVENTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, or to others of the property, services or other resources of the state for private business or other compensated non-governmental purposes. g. An officer or employee of a state agency, MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE OR LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEE should abstain from making personal investments in enterprises which he OR SHE has reason to believe may be directly involved in decisions to be made by him OR HER or which will otherwise create substantial conflict between his OR HER duty in the public inter- est and his OR HER private interest. S 7. The nine members of the legislative ethics commission holding office immediately prior to the effective date of this act are hereby removed from their positions as such members, and nine new members shall be appointed in accordance with section 80 of the legislative law, as amended by section two of this act. S 8. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.