Ethics deal? Announcement could be coming soon

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For the third day in a row, chatter at the Capitol has centered on a close-but-not-quite deal on legislative ethics reform, with the Associated Press reporting an announcement could come as soon as today.

Officials in Cuomo’s office and the Legislature say a final agreement hasn’t quite been reached, but The AP — citing three unnamed sources — reports a tentative deal was struck Thursday and could be unveiled as early as today in New York City.

“While talks continue on a few outstanding issues, (Senate Republican Leader Dean) Skelos is working extremely hard to forge an agreement with the governor and the Assembly on historic ethics reforms,” Skelos spokesman Scott Reif told the AP. “We expect to make an announcement as soon as we have a final agreement.”

Cuomo will be in New York City today, but doesn’t have anything on his public schedule as of now.

Legislative leaders have been close to a final deal with Cuomo for much of this week, with talks centering on a new Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which would be able to investigate both the legislative and ethics branches and be able to forward their findings on to prosecutors. The makeup of the commission, however, hasn’t been nailed down.

An ethics deal would also include tighter disclosure requirements for advocacy groups, as well as require lawmakers to disclose outside income and clients. Joe Spector had a good roundup of the aspects of the potential deal on Wednesday.

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