New York politics has a serious pay-to-play infection. That has been true for some time, and has become even less deniable this year.

In March, a jury in Manhattan convicted Joseph Percoco, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on federal bribery and fraud charges. Prosecutors say Percoco and his family accepted more than $300,000 in bribes from companies hoping to win lucrative state contracts.

A former Competitive Power Ventures executive accused of bribing Percoco to help the company’s plans for a $900 million Orange County power plant pleaded guilty in May to a reduced charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The retrial of former state Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos on corruption charges is underway.

So is the trial of Alain Kaloyeros, a former SUNY official accused of steering $1 billion in development contracts to Cuomo campaign donors.

Despite a mountain of evidence showing that public figures across the nation traded public favors for private riches, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it increasingly difficult to call what used to be a bribe anything more than just good friends doing favors for each other.

The idea that the former speaker of the state Assembly, Sheldon Silver, could be convicted twice, once under laws based on old-fashioned notions of morality and reality and again in the fantastic new world envisioned by our justices, shows just how undeniable his crimes were.

Instead of waiting for better guidance from the courts, New Yorkers could strike a blow for decency by changing state laws, some of the loosest in the nation regarding how much people can donate and how much candidates can collect.

The most effective system would do away with donations entirely, providing public funding for campaigns and effectively reducing both the temptation to court favors with cash and, in a beneficial side effect, reducing the length and scope of our seemingly endless campaigns.

If we had a severe restriction on what could be spent, if we put our campaigns on a diet, they would be shorter. But courts have long equated donations with free speech so any absolute ban would not be likely to survive a challenge.

New York could, however, do much better than it does. Orange County Legislator Mike Anagnostakis, who is running for the state Senate in the 39th District, has a series of proposals that voters should welcome. One of his ideas, banning contributions from state contractors, also is favored by Marc Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor. Another would end the practice of letting limited liability companies — businesses created a specific way under a specific law — donate more than other companies, a loophole notorious for the amount of money it sends to candidates, for the widespread criticism of the practice and for the ability of those in power to look the other way and keep on collecting donations.

James Skoufis, the Democrat seeking that state Senate seat, also has been behind calls for reducing the influence of money in elections. The Republican facing Anagnostakis in the primary, Tom Basile from Rockland County, had only his habitual response. He insulted both opponents, ridiculed their ideas and proposed few of his own.