capitolsummerFrom the Morning Memo:

State government reform groups had a lot to love when it came to the release of a 307-page report detailing reviewing the operations of the state’s ethics watchdog, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

The panel charged with reviewing and recommending changes to JCOPE found the ethics regulator should operate with more transparency as well as make it easier to comply with the state’s lobbying laws.

And as the state’s former top legislative leaders head to trial this month in a pair of separate corruption cases, both the New York Public Interest Research Group and Citizens Union say the JCOPE review shows it’s time for the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take yet another bite of the ethics apple.

NYPIRG Executive Director Blair Horner called on Cuomo to convene a special session for ethics reform.

“Today’s report on a panel’s review of New York’s ethics watchdog adds more fuel to the calls to overhaul the state’s inadequate ethics reform laws,” he said in a statement. “This month the former Assembly Speaker and former Senate Majority Leader face their days in federal court for a litany of alleged abuses of public office. Governor Cuomo should call a special session and force a debate over the state’s weak ethic enforcement and loophole riddled laws. Real reforms are needed.”

Added Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey:

“All that is now needed is for JCOPE, the governor and the legislature to seize upon these recommendations and enact them as soon as possible. New Yorkers only need to look at the two trials of Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to know why these recommendations need immediate action.”

Still, a special session before the end of the year is highly unlikely.

Lawmakers and Cuomo did pass new measures at the start of the year seeking greater disclosure outside income from the Legislature. Those changes, which take effect in 2017, have been criticized by good-government advocates for having fallen short.