Reinvent Albany Supports Legislation to Increase Transparency of Long Island Power Authority



S1311-A (Gaughran) / A4635 (Thiele)

June 2021

An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring the Long Island Power Authority to prepare a semi-annual expenditure and lobbying report.

Section 1 amends sections 1020-kk and 1020-ll of the public authorities law to require the Long Island Power Authority to file semi-annual lobbying and advertising expenditure reports to the Governor and majority leaders of the legislature. The report would detail the lobbying and advertising activities of the authority, its trustees, employees, and service providers, and the first report would be due on March 31st, 2022. Section 2 reletters certain sections of law. Section 3 states that the legislation takes effect immediately.

Statement of Support
Reinvent Albany supports this legislation because we believe that the state deserves more transparency about the activities of New York State’s public authorities, which spend billions every year and hold 96 percent of state-supported debt.

Long Islanders have long bemoaned the lack of accountability at transparency and the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG Long Island (an LIPC service provider), particularly following the massive power outages that occurred after Hurricane Sandy (2o12) and Tropical Storm Isaias (2020). However, reform has been slow, and both corporations advertise extensively on Long Island, possibly attempting to rehabilitate their images. This bill will help the legislative and executive branches better understand the extent of the LIPC and PSEG’s lobbying and advertising activities and assess how to resolve the authorities’ persistent problems.

We believe this bill could be improved by requiring the reports to be made public, and we encourage the legislature to go much further by requiring these reports annually for all public authorities as part of their existing budget reports required under Section 2801 of the Public Authorities Law.

This bill passed the Senate on May 5, 2021, and the Assembly on June 1st. We urge Governor Cuomo to sign the bill.

Click here to view the memo as a PDF.