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June 6, 2011
The Remarks Of Speaker Sheldon Silver at Governor's Press Conference Announcing Ethics Agreement

Governor, on behalf of the Assembly, I thank you for your perseverance and for the leadership you have provided in bringing about this agreement.

For this legislative session, ethics reform was among our top priorities, so we are pleased to have accomplished this important goal.

The agreement we have reached today, requires more extensive financial disclosure and establishes serious penalties for those who violate the law.

It guarantees transparency and accountability while respecting the constitutional provision of separation of powers.

Let me take a moment to commend my Assembly colleagues, particularly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, Minority Leader Brian Kolb, and the Chair of the Committee on Ethics and Guidance, Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell, for their leadership and for the time and effort they have invested in crafting this agreement.

In every profession, in every entity - public and private - there are people who stray from propriety and some who attempt to cheat the system.

Over the years I have served in the Assembly, it has been my experience that the overwhelming majority of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle - and in both houses - are hardworking, caring, public-spirited men and women of integrity.

For this reason, we are proud of this agreement, which all of us worked so diligently to finalize, because we believe that transparency and accountability are the pillars of good government, and a good government is one that every day earns the people's trust.

Governor, once again, we thank you for your leadership on ethics reform.

We look forward to completing the work on our remaining priorities - extending and enhancing the rent laws, instituting a property tax cap, and enacting marriage equality - before the end of this legislative session.