The second guilty verdict for one of New York’s most powerful public figures is even more important than the first.

Sheldon Silver, formerly speaker of the Assembly, was found guilty the first time because the evidence was overwhelming. He got lots of money from people seeking favors and he made sure that they got lots of money in return, all of it from taxpayers.

As blatant as the scheme was, it might not have been enough because courts are narrowing the scope of what constitutes bribery and legislatures are not rushing to fill in gaps or close loopholes.

Silver’s case was so blatant that even with this much more friendly approach, even with the understanding that the former governor of Virginia and the present senator from New Jersey — one a Republican, one a Democrat — traded public money for private favors but did not cross the hazy legal line between legal and illegal, was not enough to save him.

The facts were never in doubt, the trial did not take long, the abuse was obvious, the jury deliberations were swift.

Now, we turn our attention to the second man in the room, Dean Skelos, former leader of the Senate majority.

Silver is a Democrat and Skelos a Republican, illustrating the bipartisan balance that has for so long characterized corruption in New York. But the Skelos case is different, focusing more on influence than cash, meaning that he might not be as susceptible. We need to watch this case because it will tell us where New York needs to draw the line. If legislators are ever going to fill in the loopholes, they need to know how the courts are ruling and how to make sure that future felons do not have so many escape routes.

But there is another looming task ahead, one that New York voters face every two years. They need to fill those seats in the Senate and Assembly with people who will not take bribes or empower others who do.

That means we need candidates for election and re-election who will not use their power in office to fill their own bank accounts.

One step in that direction is a prohibition on outside income, a limitation not that restrictive considering that New York legislators are already the third-highest paid in the nation with bonus payments for what amounts to showing up, with the kinds of benefits that most workers in the state can only dream of, with generous expense accounts and with staff support that allows them to perpetually campaign and raise money for their political future.

The need for this restriction on outside income is important for two reasons, one of them on blatant display in the Silver trial. He was not only running the Assembly, he was a lawyer on the side and it was through that job that he received the illegal payments.

Even more important is the prospect that our highly paid representatives might get a raise before the next session starts, one that should not come at all but if it does, certainly should come with a prohibition on any other income from outside employment.