From the Morning Memo:

Despite a pledge from Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie that his house would give first passage to a constitutional amendment that would strip public officials of their pensions after a felony corruption conviction, that vote has yet to be taken.

The measure was included in the ethics deal negotiated by legislative leaders and the governor as part of the new state budget.

The Senate approved the legislation as planned. But in the wee hours of the morning on April 1, as they rushed to get the budget done just after the constitutional deadline, the Assembly failed to follow suit.

At first it was unclear exactly why this had occurred, and Heastie quickly issued a statement assuring that the matter would be taken up when his members returned from their three-week spring break.

But lawmakers have been back to work for two weeks now, and the issue has yet to come to the floor.

That’s much to the chagrin of good government reformers and Republicans.

Members of the minority conference in particular having been rattling the Democrats’ cage on this – especially following news over the break that the US Attorney is investigating Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos and Assemblyman William Scarborough’s announcement that he will plead guilty to per diem-related fraud charges and resign his seat.

During the debate over the pension forfeiture measure, some lawmakers expressed concern over what might constitute a work-related felony conviction for which they would lose their pensions.

Would that extend, for example, to a drunk driving conviction while in Albany, which has been known to occur on occasion?

But the real pushback has come from labor unions.

They argue that the language in the legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman David Buchwald, is too broad, and would apply to any and all public officials – elected and non-elected alike – and not just the corrupt elected officials who have been making headlines for the past several years.

The Legislature and governor tried to address this issue by putting language into the budget that would guide the pension stripping process if the constitutional amendment is ultimately successful.

But the unions remained concerned. And now, according to one labor source, the Assembly is now “taking a look, realizing how broad this is, and trying to tighten it up by narrowing the language.”

An Assembly Democrat source said the conference “remains committed to passing a constitutional amendment, but how we get there at this point remains to be seen.”

This issue will likely come to a head next week, as Heastie’s office in currently in talks with Buchwald about how to change the language, and will then present the changes to the rest of the conference before bringing the amended measure up for a vote.

Of course, if changes are made, the Senate would have to get on board, too, because it has already passed the original version.

And given the way things are going in that chamber these days, it’s unclear how talks on this issue might go, though arguably members have an extra incentive to demonstrate that they’re really serious about cracking down on bad behavior by elected officials.