skelosFrom the Morning Memo:

Despite the string of arrests doing little to help Albany’s reputation for corruption, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the new state legislative leaders acknowledge there is little they can do to stem the arrests by passing new ethics and anti-corruption laws.

“The point is, is there any reason to believe there would be a different outcome?” Cuomo said.

The first six months of the year in Albany was marred by a seemingly unprecedented parade of arrests that saw the indictments of the speaker of the Assembly and majority leader of the state Senate, both of whom were forced to step down from their posts as they fight their corruption charges.

“We have the highest ethical standards this state has ever had,” Cuomo told reporters last month. “That is not going to stop people from doing stupid or criminal things as we’ve learned.”

Good-government groups have urged Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to take up a new package of ethics measures as well as campaign finance law changes, but none of those measures address the what Republican Tom Libous and Democrat John Sampson, whose two state Senate seats are now vacant, were actually convicted on.

“Obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI — I don’t know what legislation we could pass that would change that,” said Heastie, D.

Flanagan admits state government’s reputation has taken a hit with the arrests and convictions.

“I don’t think it’s tolerated right now. We see people who are getting prosecuted, who are getting convicted and frankly, it’s bad for everybody,” Flanagan said.

Flanagan argues lawmakers should focus on pocketbook issues like jobs and taxes.

“In my estimation, the greatest way we could do that is listen to the people we represent and second of all, follow through on the issues that are important to them.

After Sheldon Silver was arrested on corruption charges in January, lawmakers did pass new disclosure laws for lawmakers with outside legal clients. That requirement doesn’t take effect until 2017.