Governor's Ethics Veto is the Right Move, But This Can't Be the End of the Road

Governor must now lead open negotiations to achieve a stronger, more comprehensive measure

NEW YORK, NY (02/02/2010)(readMedia)-- Common Cause/New York Executive Director Susan Lerner released this statement today following Governor Paterson's veto of A9544, the ethics bill sent to him by rhe Legislature.

"Governor Paterson did the right thing today in vetoing the Legislature's ethics reform bill, as, in its current form, it doesn't address the public's primary concerns regarding ethics oversight: independence and uniformity. The current ethics crisis in state government demands bold action, not small steps. The Governor must now lead open negotiations with the members of the Legislature and the leaders who have pushed for ethics reform in order to achieve a stronger, more comprehensive measure. We were encouraged to read that at least one discussion has already taken place. The Legislature has taken a positive first step down this road and it is the Governor's responsibility to support further progress, not simply to rain on that parade. Likewise, the Legislature must not allow pride, a sense of ownership, or politics to get in the way of progress -- they must enter negotiations with the Governor in good faith in order to accomplish the better, stronger ethics reform bill that New Yorkers expect."