Long before Gov. David Paterson delivered his annual report on New York’s condition on Wednesday, everyone knew that the state of the state was desperate. New York is crippled by a mounting budget crisis and saddled with a Legislature that is incompetent in its governance and corrupt in its behavior.
...Mr. Paterson said he directed Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch to create a four-year budget plan to replace the year-by-year recklessness that leaves counties, cities and towns vulnerable to economic downturns like the one now paralyzing them.
…Here are a few of Mr. Paterson’s best ideas:
…To tackle the pay-to-play culture, the governor’s bill would require everybody earning public money to disclose all outside business income in detail.
¶…He also proposed a truly independent ethics commission to oversee all branches of the government. The state’s top politicians would appoint a “designating committee” that would then appoint the commission. That is a far cry from today’s Legislative Ethics Commission, which is made up of legislators who — to everyone’s disgust but no one’s surprise — generally find nothing wrong with their colleagues’ misbehavior.
January 7, 2010