Columbia Tribune: “The bill filed Tuesday by Rowden would ban gifts, bar legislators from working as lobbyists for two years after they leave office and prevent them from soliciting lobbying jobs while in office. It also would require subcontracting lobbyists hired by principal lobbyists to disclose the actual client being served and make it illegal for the governor to offer jobs in exchange for votes on legislation. He addresses campaign finance issues by requiring that legislators and statewide elected officials disclose donations greater than $500 within 48 hours during legislative sessions. Rowden’s proposal would control anonymous campaign funding by not-for-profit companies by requiring any not-for-profit that spends more than 25 percent of its budget on politics to disclose all of its donors. The seven bills filed today, four by Rowden and three by Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, cover many of the same issues but do not include a ban on lobbying gifts. Instead, Barnes filed bills for faster and more detailed reporting.”
Auburn Pub; “Despite all that, there’s a valid argument for saying that it may time to adjust state lawmaker base pay. They last got a raise in 1999, and if we’re looking to get the best and brightest people interested in this form of public service, it could be time for an adjustment.
‘With this chatter about a raise, there have also been suggestions about trade-offs. Legislators may get a raise if they agree to increase minimum wage or if they agree to adjust other state executive branch leadership salaries.
“We’re against such horse trading because there’s really a much more important compromise lawmakers should be making if they want greater paychecks from the taxpayers. They should be giving up their outside income and agree to make the job of state legislator officially a full-time job.
‘The much-maligned Moreland Commission that was created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to explore government corruption did hit on at least one major problem with Albany. The conflicts created by the outside income elected lawmakers take in are a huge driver of the ‘pay to play’ culture in the state Capitol.
“The New York Public Interest Research Group did an analysis of financial disclosure forms and found that in 2012, state lawmakers had median income of $137,000 to $172,000. And many of the sources of that income had some form of business, direct or indirect, with the state.”
Politicker NJ: “Senator Tom Kean, R-21, has announced that pursuant to Senate Rule 12:6, he has filed a 24-hour notice to remove Senate Bill 287, which would limit campaign contributions by contractors and political parties, from the State Government Committee for a vote in the full Senate.”
“S-287 restricts contributions from public contractors, and county and municipal political party committees.”