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January 5, 2022

Contact: Jake Oliver, [email protected], (347) 361-9983

New York, N.Y. (January 5, 2022) – Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address:

“New York needs a sweeping overhaul of our ethics system to restore the public’s faith in government. Governor Kathy Hochul’s call for ethics reform is an important first step towards changing the culture in Albany. Citizens Union supports her call to replace JCOPE with an independent and effective ethics watchdog and we look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to advance meaningful reform.”

“Governor Hochul’s proposals for term limits and a ban on outside income for statewide elected officials also represent important reforms. Limiting governors to two consecutive four-year terms, as 36 states do, provides enough time to achieve major policy goals while allowing for valuable turnover and ensuring leaders do not become entrenched. Term limits for legislative leaders should also be considered. Banning outside income for statewide office holders will give New Yorkers confidence that elected officials are acting in the public’s interest.” 

“For too long, Albany has been plagued by scandal. We are encouraged by Governor Hochul’s leadership on these issues and look forward to working with her to achieve substantial ethics reform this legislative session.”

“We also thank Governor Hochul for putting forth proposals that will make it easier for New Yorkers to register and vote. We support her call to bring the voter registration deadline closer to Election Day and ensure that college campuses have poll sites so young voters can participate in our elections.” 

About Citizens Union 

For 125 years, Citizens Union has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include a new agenda for police accountability, monitoring the City Council’s redistricting process and increasing civic engagement. Learn more at

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