No wonder there’s rampant cynicism surrounding the likelihood of getting significant ethics reform done despite overwhelming public demand. Consider the latest fate of a bill to close the infamous LLC loophole.
The measure has been proposed every year since 2010 by State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Manhattan). Republicans oppose it, while the Democratic-dominated Assembly passes a similar version each year.
On Monday, Squadron forced an Elections Committee vote on his bill, and the committee opted to move it to the Codes Committee, rather than send it to the floor for an up-or-down vote. The Codes Committee does not have a meeting scheduled for the rest of this legislative session, and Squadron cannot compel another vote because the bill must age for 45 days, which takes it beyond the June 16 end date. So the measure, effectively, has been killed — unless Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) decides he wants it to move forward.
Last year, Squadron’s bill was sent to the corporations committee, whose chairman, Michael H. Ranzenhofer, was criticized for blocking it. Turns out, according to a Common Cause/NY analysis, Ranzenhofer had received nearly $100,000 over five years from 11 LLCs tied to Glenwood Management, the NYC real estate giant that figured prominently in the Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos corruption cases. If you’re wondering about potential blowback if this year’s bill is not passed, Codes Committee chairman Michael Nozzolio is not running for reelection in the fall.
And that’s how the game is played by Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats, when it suits them.