70 Assemblymembers Publicly Support Database of Deals and/or Comptroller’s Procurement Integrity Act
Speaker Heastie Refuses to Put Bills on Assembly Floor for a Vote
Heastie Defies Public Interest, Will of Rank-and-File Members, and His Own Public Policy Views to Placate Cuomo
Seventy Assemblymembers are co-sponsoring high-profile transparency and clean contracting bills. Yet Speaker Heastie has refused to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Heastie is seemingly ignoring the widespread support for accountable and transparent economic development from his own colleagues, twenty watchdog and civic groups, numerous editorial boards, and his own support for the bills. News accounts say Heastie is placating the governor, and doing so at the expense of the public interest just as the largest bid-rigging corruption trial in state history gets underway in downtown Manhattan.
70 Assemblymembers Support One or Both Bills
(There are 150 Assembly seats: 104 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 1 Independence, and 4 vacancies.)
“The people of the state of New York will still feel better knowing that there’s some other entity looking at it, like the state comptroller … Another set of eyes will make people feel better that, yes, things are done correctly.”
The Database of Deals is a fundamental transparency reform listing all of the taxpayer subsidies received by a corporation including the type of subsidy, jobs created or retained, and the cost per job to taxpayers. The state spends $4 billion in economic development annually, yet the public has no way of accounting for which programs work best or whether the state is getting a sufficient return on its investment in jobs produced or retained. Florida, Maryland, Indiana and New York City, among others, have a Database of Deals.
The Procurement Integrity Act was introduced at the request of Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to restore the comptroller’s authority to review contracts before they are executed for SUNY/CUNY construction and construction services, materials and printing contracts, and OGS centralized contracts. The bill also:
- requires Comptroller approval of state-funded SUNY Research Foundation contracts of over $1 million;
- forbids state-controlled nonprofit organizations from contracting on behalf of the state unless specifically allowed by the legislature (state-controlled nonprofits like Fort Schuyler Management Corporation are at the center of the Upstate bid-rigging scandal); and
- requires state authorities to use procurement guidelines consistent with state agencies.
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