Editorial Boards Across New York
Call for Passage of Database of Deals and Comptroller’s Procurement Integrity Act
Upstate, Downstate Decry Assembly Inaction on Corruption
Seven editorial boards across the state called on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to bring bipartisan transparency and procurement oversight bills to a vote in the Assembly. The Database of Deals passed the Senate 62-0 and Comptroller’s Procurement Integrity Act 60-2. Speaker Carl Heastie has refused to allow a vote on the bills because of opposition from Governor Cuomo. Meanwhile the Assembly is viewed more unfavorably than favorably by New York State likely voters, with just a 40 percent favorability.
The Database of Deals and Comptroller DiNapoli’s Procurement Integrity Act would make transparent taxpayer subsidies given to businesses and restore the century-old power of the comptroller to review SUNY contracts before they are finalized. The bills would help to prevent the bid rigging that former SUNY Polytechnic President Alain Kaloyeros and major Cuomo’s campaign contributors LP Ciminelli and COR Development are on trial for in Manhattan.
How the Assembly can fight corruption and give the taxpayers a break
The New York Post
June 10, 2018
In the wake of the massive corruption scandals in Gov. Cuomo’s economic- development programs, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli asked the Legislature to help prevent it from happening again. The state Senate passed the two resulting bills — but the Assembly is sitting on them.
EDITORIAL: Assembly has great opportunity to fight corruption
The Post Star
June 19, 2018
….While it is absurd to think anyone can change the corrupt culture in state government overnight, the state Assembly has its fingertips on two pieces of legislation that won’t necessarily end corruption but will make it easier to flush out.
The Database for Deals, co-sponsored by local Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner among others, would list all taxpayer subsidies received by corporations, including the type of subsidy, jobs created or retained and the cost per job to taxpayers. This is the type of data tracking that any private company hoping to make a profit would conduct.
Currently, the state spends $4 billion — yes, we said billion again — in economic development, yet there is no way of accounting for which programs are working and which are not, at least not easily. This bill provides the transparency needed.
EDITORIAL: Governor’s aversion to reforms is telling
June 15, 2018
Among meaningful measures being kept from a vote in the Assembly are a pair of bills aimed at peeling back the light-blocking curtains on the state’s “economic development” operation and there’s no doubt whatsoever that when Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, ignores the calls for action from both sides of the aisle, he is doing the bidding of our vain and imperious governor.
Albany should do the public’s business
June 13, 2018
ETHICS — The state’s wretched history of corruption demands reform. Good ones include a bill from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to return to his office authority to review contracts and appropriations, legislation to create a “database of deals” with information about taxpayer subsidies to corporations and jobs created as a result, a measure to place limits on pay-to-play campaign contributions from state vendors, and a bill to make clearer exactly what’s in the state’s $160 billion budget.
Editorial: Albany does nothing
The Buffalo News
June 14, 2018
Bidding controversies on high-dollar projects in Buffalo and Syracuse have produced three measures that seem to be going nowhere. One would restore approval oversight for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for certain state contracts. It was sponsored by Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, who for some reason didn’t push for it. This one should be passed … Two other valuable bills were introduced by Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore. One would create a “database of deals” while the other would make the state’s Freedom of Information law apply to state-created private agencies that make spending decisions on behalf of the state. The Assembly shows no interest in either bill… The lack of enthusiasm to re-engineer how things are done in Albany is disappointing, despite scandals that tell the tale on ethics in New York State government…. Voters should take note.
Editorial: Three days to get it done
Albany Times Union
June 16, 2018
They can make it easier for the public to track the billions of dollars that flow through the state’s economic development programs and public authorities by creating a “Database of deals.” This is just about the lowest-hanging fruit of all …
They can strengthen the state comptroller’s authority over state contracts and grants — including those done through the State University of New York and public nonprofit corporations.
Why is the Assembly letting Cuomo’s wasteful policies slide?
The New York Post
June 16, 2018
Evidence keeps proving that the billions Gov. Cuomo shells out for “economic development” are being wasted — when not being used corruptly. Yet Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie continues to sit on bills that would shed light on the outlays …
All of which has got to make you wonder why Heastie is blocking two bills to make handouts like these more transparent. One would require all economic-development subsidies to be listed in a database, along with the number of jobs promised. The other would let the state comptroller review contracts, like the one to Ciminelli, beforehand. The Senate passed both bills overwhelmingly.
Restore more oversight power to N.Y. comptroller: Editorial
June 7, 2018
With time winding down on the legislative session, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York lawmakers haven’t done a blessed thing to address scandals and corruption connected to the lucrative public contracts doled out by the state.
In fact, ethics reforms of any substance have seemingly stalled in Albany. It’s indefensible and striking, considering the voluminous number of arrests of state lawmakers, power brokers and prominent developers over the years.
Some solutions are more straightforward than others. A good, easy one would be to give the state comptroller more oversight power to root out questionable contracts and to investigate other procurement irregularities.
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