Sheldon Silver decision reignites ethics debate in Albany

Critics of the New York Legislature’s chronic corruption problem say a federal court’s decision to overturn the conviction of ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver is proof that the state can’t count solely on federal prosecutors to clean up its mess.

Federal prosecutors intend to retry the longtime Democratic powerbroker from Manhattan, but supporters of several long-languishing ethics proposals say that’s no reason to wait for the final outcome of Silver’s case to act. They’ve floated ideas including tighter limits on campaign contributions, restrictions on how much lawmakers can make from outside jobs and even term limits.

“It is time for our state to step up,” said Sen. Todd Kaminsky, D-Long Island and a former federal prosecutor.

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