Paterson Signs Law Closing 'Bruno Gap'

Friday, February 12, 2010

New York State Capitol Building New York State Capitol Building (jstephenconn/flickr)

State lawmakers can no longer run a private business out of their government offices, now that Gov. David Paterson has signed an ethics bill to close what's known as the "Bruno Gap."

The name is a reference to former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, who was convicted on felony corruption charges. The sponsor, State Sen. Daniel Squadron, says the bill represents common sense.

"In fact, if you ask anyone, hey, can you run a private business out of your government office, should you run a private business out of your government office? Any person in the world would say absolutely not," Squadron says. "What's insane is that state law didn't say that, until this point."

Squadron says the 'Bruno Gap' is just one part of the massive ethics reform package lawmakers and the governor have been trying to agree on.

Paterson vetoed another ethics reform bill that he felt did not go far enough in reigning in Albany corruption. The Assembly voted overwhelmingly to override his veto earlier this week. But an override attempt failed in the state senate, when many Republicans backed away from the measure. It had previously passed the senate with only one vote against it.

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