Blair Horner

JCOPE Under Review

Aug 26, 2015

The controversial New York State ethics commission is in the midst of a review by a panel appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature. Government reform groups say they’ve already been asked to give their opinions on how to fix some of the commission’s problems. 

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, was designed by Cuomo and state lawmakers four years ago.  It replaced a former ethics commission that also was troubled.  

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The New York State Legislature returns for the second half of the legislative session, once again under a cloud of corruption, and with numerous unsettled issues.

The session begins Tuesday, after the spring break, and this time it’s the leader of the Senate who is the focus of a federal corruption probe. State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos confirmed that he’s the target of an investigation, after the New York Times reported that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has convened a grand jury that is looking into some of the Senator’s business dealings, as well as those of his son.

The New York legislature completed an almost on time budget, around 3 AM on the first day of the state’s fiscal year. One of the final pieces to come together was an ethics reform package, which will provide greater disclosure of lawmaker’s outside income. But critics say it does not go far enough. 

Charles Lane

For the last several weeks Suffolk County lawmakers have been negotiating next year's budget.  The $2.8 billion spending package is expected to be unveiled Friday afternoon.  While there has been a quiet increase in criticism about how lawmakers get the budget done most still defend it.