WYSK: Senator Klein and the IDC Have Seen The Light

Senator Klein and the IDC Have Seen the Light!

You should know that on February 10, 2015 the Albany Times Union’s Capitol Confidential reporter Matthew Hamilton published an article titled “IDC proposes banning outside incomes for legislators.” In this article, Mr. Hamilton reports on a plan released by IDC Leader Senator Jeff Klein on behalf of the IDC (Independent Democratic Conference) that: “would not permit any state lawmaker to earn outside income.”

After reading this IDC proposal for ethics reform, I have no other words than: Surprise, surprise!  For six consecutive years, I have sponsored Senate Bill S.111 (the previous bill numbers were S.384-A, S.284-A and S.3149) which “Prohibits a member of the legislature from engaging in any outside paid activity during his or her term of office.”

My dear reader, in 2009 I saw the light and I called upon Governor Andrew Cuomo – who ran his campaign on the promise that he would clean up Albany – to attack the problem once and for all by banning legislators from engaging in outside paid activity during their term of office.

In a January 7, 2011 Legislative Gazette article titled “Sen. Diaz: No outside income for lawmakers” Simon Garron Caine documented my effort: “I realize that several proposals have been discussed to require legislators to report outside income. However, by allowing legislators to continue to receive outside income, there is no doubt in my mind that the problems, of which we are all aware, will not be resolved,” said Diaz.

You should know that neither Senator Jeff Klein nor any member of his IDC have ever supported nor co-sponsored my bill. When I called upon my colleagues in the State Senate to co-sponsor my piece of legislation, only a very few ever did (former Senator Eric Schneiderman and Senator Adriano Espaillat, to be exact) – until last week when Senators Adriano Espaillat (for the third time) and George Latimer both jumped on board and asked to co-sponsor it.

This week, I am so glad that Senator Jeff Klein and his IDC Members have finally seen the light and are going to embrace something very important that I started several years ago. I can see no reason why Senator Klein and his IDC Members wouldn’t be anything except eager to co-sponsor S.111.

Ladies and gentlemen, I look forward to hearing from Senator Jeff Klein and each IDC Member to hear from them that they would like to co-sponsor my piece of legislation.

This is Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

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