Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky announced his co-sponsorship of a bill introduced by Assemblyman David Buchwald, which would strip pensions from corrupt officials who have been convicted of a felony in violation of the public trust (A.377).
“After successfully prosecuting corrupt politicians who were still allowed to keep their pensions under state law, I was always astonished and disappointed by this flaw in our ethical codes,” said Assemblyman Kaminsky. “I am proud to be part of a solution that will help restore the public’s faith in government.”
“I am very pleased that Assemblyman Kaminsky will hit the ground running by supporting this meaningful Albany ethics reform,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester). “This is a positive step forward for all New Yorkers, who we believe would overwhelmingly approve this constitutional amendment if it were placed on the ballot. The fact that convicted felons who violated their oaths of office sit in prison collecting state pensions not only damages public faith, but is a clear waste of taxpayer dollars. The time has come for a change.”
While New York State passed the Public Integrity Reform Act in 2011 to reduce benefits for public officials who abuse their power (Chapter 399 of 2011), it only applied to officials who entered into the state pension system after it became law. This new legislation would amend the State Constitution so that any corrupt official, regardless of when they took office, will know that they risk losing their taxpayer-funded pension.