Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in a statement on Thursday said his chamber will approve first passage of a constitutional amendment that would strip public officials of their pensions upon felony conviction.

The Assembly did approve pension forfeiture language this week, which was contained in a budget bill as part of a larger package of ethics reform.

The amendment itself, which doesn’t have any implications for the budget, wasn’t passed as lawmakers worked into the early hours of Wednesday morning to wrap up the state budget. The amendment still needs second passage from another separately elected session of the Legislature and approval from voters.

Lawmakers return to Albany on April 21.

Heastie was elected to the speaker’s post earlier this year after Manhattan Democrat Sheldon Silver stepped down following his arrest on corruption charges. Silver was indicated in February on charges the he masked bribes and pay offs as legal referrals.

Heastie’s statement:

From the start, I vowed to enact comprehensive ethics reform this legislative session and crack down on those who abuse the public’s trust. I am proud of the steps we have taken as part of the State Budget to increase disclosure of outside income, improve transparency and accountability, and strengthen the ban on campaign funds for personal use. We must continue to be vigilant to ensure that New Yorkers have the utmost confidence that state government is working for the people. Within the budget bill the Assembly passed this week was a strong pension forfeiture measure that provides for pension forfeiture for state officers, including legislators, who are convicted of public corruption. For this to apply to officials who entered the retirement system before enactment of the pension forfeiture law in 2011, we need to adopt a resolution amending the State Constitution. The Assembly will adopt an implementing resolution to accomplish this when we return to Session.