Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law Monday aimed at increasing disclosure and cracking down on corruption among government officials, a major piece of his agenda passed by the Legislature earlier this year.
The new law — the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 –- will require lawmakers to more accurately disclose any outside income, as well as the names of any clients or customers they maintain.
It also creates a new Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which will have the power to investigate any lawmakers, their staff or members of the executive branch for legal or ethical violations. Any reports will be made public, with criminal offenses passed on to prosecutors.
Cuomo’s signing starts the clock on the independent ethics commission, which by law must be fully operational within 120 days. It replaces the current Commission on Public Integrity, which has been criticized for its lack of action.
The new 14-member commission will consist of six people appointed by the governor, with Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats each appointing three members each. Assembly Republicans and Senate Democrats each will tap one member each, and no sitting lawmakers or officials can sit on the panel.
Here’s the new law in its entirety: