Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATE
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATE

Issues and Advocacy

Sally Robinson, VP for Issues and Advocacy, Sally.s.robinson@gmail.com

Erica Smitka, Deputy Director, Erica@lwvny.org

Ethics Reform

As of July 8th, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) ceased to exist. The Legislature agreed to replace JCOPE with a new state ethics and lobbying oversight committee- the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (CELG).

Under state law, New York’s statewide officials and legislative leaders appoint the members to the new Commission on Ethics on Lobbying in Government, but instead of elected officials making direct appointments to the Commission, as has historically been the case, the new law created the Independent Review Committee (“IRC”) comprised of the Deans of the State’s 15 law schools to determine whether or not nominees should be confirmed for appointment. The League along with other good government groups sent the statewide and legislative officials a letter in June asking that they appoint independent members to the new ethics commission. You can read the letter here. Our groups separately encouraged law school deans to adhere to procedures that would increase the transparency and independence of the vetting process for ethics commissioners.

As of August 1st, most nominations have been submitted to the IRC and we are waiting on one final appointment from the Governor. Public comment on candidates will be welcomed by the IRC by emailing info@irc.ny.gov.

Medical Aid in Dying Virtual Meeting

It’s time to rally support for Medical Aid in Dying! We have called for the passage of this legislation since 2018 and will be working on this issue again this legislative session. An online planning meeting led by Compassion and Choices is being held on Wednesday, August 10, from 11 a.m.-12 noon. The planning will be for activities in the 4-County capital area to build legislative support for Medical Aid in Dying. If this is legislation that you believe is important and willing to work on, please consider attending. Reach out to Erica at erica@lwvny.org or Barb Thomas at bkoeppicust@gmail.com for additional information and the Zoom link.

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