"Members of the state Senate and Assembly deserve congratulations for passage of Governor Andrew Cuomo's ethics reform program bill.
"It will give citizens greater confidence that public servants are putting the common good before their personal financial interests.
"The measure significantly enhances disclosure of outside business interests of public officials. Among the new requirements:
• New disclosures by all state agencies, public authorities, boards, commissions, departments, or divisions. Beginning in 2013, an online and downloadable database will disclose information regarding all firms and individuals who appear before these entities regarding any matter pertaining to procurement, rate-making proceedings, regulatory matters, judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, or attempts to have a regulation repealed or amended; and,
• Increased disclosures by public officials. Financial disclosure statements of public officials will require greater and more precise disclosure of salary and investment information. In addition, for business conducted after July 2012, many public officials, including elected officials and state employees, will be required to disclose the names of clients or customers to whom they personally provide services or have referred to their firm, regarding representation involving interaction with the state that results in fees greater than $10,000. The law includes a definition of "state agency" that covers a broad range of state entities. Certain exceptions to the disclosure requirements that will be of particular interest to legal practitioners are provided in the new statute, including one that applies "where disclosure of a client's identity is likely to cause harm."
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director of Media Services