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Cuomo Still Plans To Pursue Ethics Reforms

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

A spokesman for New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo says the governor still plans to pursue an ethics reform package during the remainder of the legislative session, after news of a federal probe into actions by Cuomo’s former top aide and the governor’s ongoing economic development programs.

Cuomo said before news of the U.S. Attorney’s investigation broke that he would press the legislature to enact reforms to address scandals in the Senate and Assembly that have led to the former Assembly speaker receiving a 12-year prison term, and the former Senate Leader also facing jail time when he is sentenced next week.

Although the legislature has returned, so far, the governor has been absent from the Capitol. Blair Horner , with the New York Public Interest Research Group says the governor could use the latest probe of his own administration to spur even more changes, but he says it also reduces Cuomo’s political capital.

“To have one of his former top aides in a cloud of controversy doesn’t help,” Horner said. “On the other hand, it reminds everybody in New York that there needs to be changes, there needs to be fixes, at the State Capitol.”

A Siena College poll finds that 97 percent of the public want lawmakers to take steps to clean up corruption in state government, before they adjourn for the year.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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