What You Should Know by Sen. Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr.
Since 2009, I Have Been Trying to Prevent It
You should know that in order to prevent corruption and the temptation of elected officials from earning money from outside of their legislative salaries, back in 2009, which was six years ago, I introduced a piece of legislation, S.3149, which prohibits a member of the legislature from engaging in any outside paid activity during his or her term of office. In other words, the New York State Legislature should be a full-time Legislature.
You should also know that for six consecutive years, I have re-introduced this bill. In 2015 the same bill is known as S.111. The only member of the Assembly to ever sponsor this bill was former Assemblyman Greg Ball, who introduced in that house in 2009 and 2010. Since then, no member of the Assembly has introduced the bill in that house, and no support has been given from the leadership of the Senate to bring this bill to the floor for a vote.
If the Senate and the Assembly leadership would have taken a look at my piece of legislation and would have given it the green light, I could assure, you that many of my colleagues would not be regretting their extra-curricular activities.
I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but in 2009, when I introduced my legislation, I wrote a justification paragraph explaining the legislation. Anyone that reads it would think that it was a prophecy:
JUSTIFICATION: How much transparency should be demanded by the people of their representatives? As long as we allow legislators to hold outside business interests, there is a potential that these outside business interests could one day cause a serious conflict of interest,
or at least in the public’s eye, the perception of one. This bill prohibits members of the legislature from engaging in any outside paid activity during their term of office. The public has a right to know that his or her Senator or Assemblyperson is not beholden to outside financial pressures. The best way to limit legislators’ outside income is to eliminate it.
I hope that after all the recent scandals, my fellow legislators will see fit to give the green light to my bill.
This is State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.