BUFFALO, N.Y. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro introduced more than 20 pages of proposed state government reforms Thursday in Buffalo as part of his 2019 Albany Accountability Act.
"On Day One, everyone who serves with me will be asked, 'Do you stand with the people of the state of New York or do you stand with those who believe that government is about the powerful and those who have influence?'" Molinaro said.
The plan includes some previous campaign promises, including a call for term limits for statewide elected officials and members of the legislature, plans to convene a new Moreland Commission to investigate public corruption and a ban on political contributions from individuals and entities seeking state contracts.
"We're always excited to see anyone engaged on ethics reform and increased transparency and accountability measures in New York. Republican or Democrat, this is really a non-partisan issue," Common Cause NY Associate Director Sarah Goff said.
Molinaro admitted many of the ideas in his proposal are not new ones. They've been pushed forward at times by state legislators and often advocated for by good government groups like Common Cause.
"We did a thorough look. There's a lot of things that we've really supported over the years. It's hard to pick favorites," Goff said.
She said the organization was particularly happy to see the inclusion of plans for a searchable database of state contracts, which it unsuccessfully pushed for last session.
"I think it's just a very simple, straightforward, common sense reform that could easily be implemented at the state level," Goff said.
Other proposals include expanding the Open Meetings and Freedom of Information laws, ending the practice of direct grant funding to private entities and allowing New Yorkers to petition to put specific legislation in front of lawmakers or directly on a ballot.
Governor Cuomo's campaign said Molinaro is trying to deflect from the "sad state" of his campaign.
"The governor has fought to restore transparency and accountability in government and we welcome Molinaro’s newfound enthusiasm for this effort," a spokesperson said.