ALBANY, N.Y. — Approved this week in the Republican-controlled Senate was a package of ethics legislation largely aimed at one person: Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"We're really excited about it. It's expansive," said Jennifer Wilson, League of Women Voters. "We think they did a good job with the bills that they've picked. A lot of transparency, a lot of accountability in there."
The package includes bills that would create an independent budget office, prevent the governor's appointees from donating to political campaigns and require financial disclosure for members of the regional economic development councils that were formed by Cuomo. Many of the measures, however, were inspired by the corruption trial and conviction of former gubernatorial aide Joe Percoco.
"In my time I haven't seen something this specifically getting at these bigger issues," Wilson said. "All of the things that popped up at the Percoco trial, they tried to address with this package."
The Senate-backed legislation that would create new transparency requirements for state contracts and subsidies, allowing members of the public to track how the money is being spent.
"I think it's very significant. They had voted on it before, they passed it before," said David Freidfel, Citizens Budget Commission. "It was part of the Senate's one-house budget, it was also part of the Assembly's one-house budget. So we have reason to believe the Assembly can and will move it forward as well.
And another bill would re-establish Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's oversight of economic development spending.
"Like anything else, if you have a cop walking the beat, there's less likely to be crime," said Blair Horner, NYPIRG Legislative Director.
The Republicans in the Senate have had a deteriorating relationship with Cuomo in recent months as the governor moves to help his party take control of the chamber.
"I would think that it's a sort of tactical move," Horner said. "On the one hand, the legislative session wraps up in June and you want to get a head of steam up and move an issue to the top of the legislative agenda, moving bills does that."
For now, it's unclear when, or if, the Assembly will take up the legislation.