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September 15, 2014
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New reporting laws for lawmakers


One of those tough new rules is that any lawmaker who commits a felony will forfeit his or her pension. In the past, according to Bonacic, the practice has been for any lawmaker accused of a crime to resign before trial, and thus his pension was preserved. Now that will change, and Bonacic called this the most “meaty” provision in the act.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther voted in favor of the reform. She said, “I gladly support this bill. It’s been a long time coming and I believe this groundbreaking legislation will help ensure that both elected and appointed public officials and employees stay accountable to the people they serve.”

The act is generally seen as a positive steps by several good government groups. Russ Haven, executive director of the New York State Public Interest Research Group, said, "These ethics reforms for the first time will open a huge window on the outside work and pay of state lawmakers. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and these disclosures will allow New Yorkers to judge whether a legislator's private job creates a conflict with their responsibilities to the public.