Titone proposal would shed light on lobbying in Albany

Assemblyman Matthew Titone’s bill undoes a controversial state ethics commission decision and requires more reporting of lobbying activity. (Staten Island Advance/Rachel Shapiro)

By Rachel Shapiro | rshapiro

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The first of several ethics proposals expected to come from the Assembly Democrats is one from Staten Island’s Matthew Titone. It would reverse a controversial order from the state ethics commission and also put more strict reporting requirements on lobbying activities.

NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) issued an edict in January that public relations companies reaching out to news organizations, including editorial boards, on matters of public policy constituted a lobbying activity and thus had to be reported, just like their conversations with elected officials on pending legislation.

Public relations firms have sued the state, arguing reporting requirements violate their First Amendment rights.