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The Empire

Silver: Ethics Deal Details, Millionaire's Tax Not Dead

Speaking today to WCNY's Capitol Pressroom today, Speaker Sheldon Silver talked to Susan Arbetter about ethics reform, the millionaire's tax, and whether Cuomo's new "stealth genius"reputation is well-earned.

On What Ethics Rules He's Agreed To

"We have basically signed off on an agreement with the governor," Silver said. "It will have greater disclosure. It will have disclosure of any conflicts or anybody doing business with the state, or representing people doing business with the state in whatever field of endeavor they're in. And it will have an independent investigative body."

He added, "it's consistent with what I've always said. You should disclose if you represent someone who does business with the state."

That's not how the client disclosure part of the deal's been described elsewhere, so watch for closely how business with the state gets defined in the debate.

On Resurrecting the Millionaire's Tax

"We going to continue to push for it," Silver says of re-upping the expiring tax surcharge for earners making more than $1,000,000. "There's no reason why it shouldn't be in effect. There's no reason why. The federal government has given people who make over a million dollars a tax cut. There's no reason why we can't take some of that back."

On the Media Narrative that Cuomo Beat Albany at Its Own Game

"I have no thoughts on it. I think the members of the Assembly, who I represent in negotiations, understood the difficulty of the economy that we face this year...and that we had to make significant cuts because of the loss of about $7 billion loss of in federal money."

He continued, "Had we been able to enact the millionaire's tax and avoid the loss of income by giving millionaires a tax cut, we would've had more money to make greater restorations in the areas that are most important -- education and educating our children clearly number one."