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Helming eyes pension forfeiture in Albany

It’s time to end the way corruption is treated in New York State.That was the resounding message from Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming, who is running for the 54th Senate District this fall. Her campaign kicked off last week with a stern message to those in Albany. Helming believes that she can and will be the change that Albany needs.On Tuesday, Helming’s campaign released a statement on corruption in Albany. She believes it is time for a constitutional amendment forfeiting government pensions for any state legislators and elected officials convicted of corruption.As State Senator, Helming says she will sponsor and support a second passage of the pension forfeiture resolution in the state legislature next year which would enable the measure to be voted upon by New York State voters in November 2017.”It is a disgrace that any public official, who has stolen from the very individuals they were elected to represent, would still be able to collect taxpayer funded pensions. The State legislature must take decisive action to adopt legislation to close this loophole. As State Senator, I will be a tireless fighter for ethics reform. We need to clean up Albany and that starts with making sure corrupt politicians cannot continue to cash in on the backs of hardworking taxpayers,” explained Helming.Helming believes the problem hinges around the current law, which allows those who were elected before August 15th, 2011 to keep their pensions if they are convicted. That law only requires that those convicted of corruption after the date are subject to the loss of state pension. Helming said, “We need legislation that would ensure the same standard is applied to ALL lawmakers, regardless of how long they have served.”Ethics reform continues to be a top priority for New York State voters. Recent polls have shown that voters want new laws to prevent corruption, and they want those laws enacted now. Many were hopeful that this legislative session would yield greater results in terms of ethics reforms. It is estimated that 14 former state lawmakers who have been convicted of serious crimes are collecting nearly $550,000 in pension benefits per year. This figure is expected to rise with recent convictions.”Corrupt elected officials must be punished to the full extent of the law. Our hardworking taxpayers deserve a State government they can be proud of. That is why I support pension forfeiture, terms limits, and comprehensive ethics reform. We must take immediate action to restore the trust of taxpayers,” said Helming.Pam Helming currently serves as Canandaigua Town Supervisor and is the endorsed candidate of the Republican, Independence and Reform parties, as well as the Conservative party in Wayne, Cayuga and Ontario counties. The 54th Senate District includes Wayne and Seneca counties, parts of Cayuga and Ontario counties, the Towns of Webster in Monroe County and Lansing in Tompkins County.

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