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Government Ethics and State Affairs Committee

The New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Government Ethics and State Affairs seeks to shine a light broadly on issues of ethical conduct in public service at the city, state, and federal levels. We look at issues of substantive ethics standards, such as public officials’ financial disclosure obligations; prosecutorial ethics; the types of restrictions that should be imposed on public officials’ employment following government service (based on their public responsibilities), or during government service (based on their prior employment or personal financial interests); and ethical issues arising in the judiciary. We also focus on structural ethics issues — for example, our 2010 report, Reforming New York State's Ethics Laws the Right Way, argued for a single independent commission to consolidate the ethics enforcement responsibilities that had been divided among multiple agencies and branches of government.

Our work product takes the form of Committee discussions, long-form reports, shorter public statements and amicus briefs. We also sponsor or co-sponsor public events from time to time. We work closely with other committees of the Association to prepare public statements and sponsor events on matters of common interest.

Recent Reports

Moving Backwards on Reform: How the Latest Amendments to Restrictions on Personal Use of Campaign Funds May Exacerbate the Problem of Misuse (April 2016) ( PDF format )
Subject area: Campaign Contributions

Report on 2016-2017 Executive Budget Proposal, Good Government and Ethics Reform (January 2016) ( PDF format )
Subject area: New York State Ethics Reform

Report on OCA's Proposed Rule for the Grant of Disclosure Exemptions under Public Officers Law §73-a (December 2015) ( PDF format )
Subject area: Attorney-legislators

For the full list of committee reports click here

Legislative Activity

For more information on the legislative and policy work of the committee, including relevant reports, bill texts and additional advocacy materials, click here.

Of Interest

Letter to Speaker Heastie regarding the Failure to Appoint the Commission to Review Work of JCOPE and the LEC (February 2015)

Letter to Governor Cuomo regarding the Failure to Appoint the Commission to Review Work of JCOPE and the LEC (January 2015)

February 12, 2013 Program "The Financial Crisis and the 'Revolving Door'" Program Materials and Video

December 8, 2011 Program "Albany Reform: The Road Ahead" Program Materials, Keynote Remarks by Former Mayor Ed Koch , and Event Summary