From the Morning Memo:

I can usually tell when state legislators are pleased with something they’ve done based on my inbox. Monday afternoon, I received roughly a dozen emails from both Republicans and Democrats celebrating the second passage of pension forfeiture legislation.

Because it’s a proposed amendment to the state constitution, the bill required approval in two consecutive legislative sessions before being sent to the general public for a referendum vote. If approved by voters this fall, any elected official convicted of a felony crime related to their office will be stripped of their state pension.

“The Senate is committed to restoring faith in government, and pension forfeiture has been a priority for us because those who violate the public trust need to be held responsible,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Cathy Young. “Corrupt officials should not be able to cash in their taxpayer-funded pensions and continue to enjoy the fruits of their misdeeds.”

Ethics reform was a major topic at the end of last year’s session and during this past election, but as leadership turned their attention to the budget at the beginning of this year, some legislators were worried the momentum had stalled.

Freshman Assemblyman and former Judge Angelo Morinello, a Niagara Falls Republican, was among the concerned.

“Restoring the people’s trust in government and holding corrupt officials responsible for their actions is the reason I ran for office,” he said. “Today, I was proud to help pass legislation which does both of these things.”

“The individuals in my district are incredibly hard-working people, and there is no reason they should be funding the pensions of public officials who choose to use their position in government to break the law. While there is a long way to go in terms of cleaning up Albany, stripping all corrupt public officials of their taxpayer-funded pensions is an important first step.”

Freshman Democratic Assemblywoman Monica Wallace also campaigned on ethics reform. The University at Buffalo law professor, who actually teaches the subject, said she’s pleased with the vote but wants to continue to push other issues like closing the so-called LLC loophole.

“I’m committed to holding myself and all legislators to the highest standards,” Wallace said. “I came here to fight for strong ethics reform, and I am determined to fulfill that promise.”

Other legislators who touted the passage of the pension forfeiture bill included Republican state Sens. Chris Jacobs, Rich Funke, and Demcoratic Assembly Majority leader Joe Morelle, of Rochester.