Reinvent Albany advocates for open, accountable New York government. Here’s our take on what the Legislature did and should have done in the regular session in the six areas we focus on:
Transparent Subsidies to Businesses, Clean Contracting
- Restoration of Comptroller Review Over State Contracts – This bill restores the Comptroller’s “pre-audit” power to review some state contracts before they are signed. Thank you to sponsors Senator Reichlin-Melnick and Assemblymember Zebrowski for introducing this bill and getting it over the finish line in the last days of session, and to Comptroller DiNapoli and his staff for championing the bill. We also thank all of the unions, government watchdogs, and public policy groups who joined us in supporting this bill and others.
- Expiration of state law 421-a – This state tax break for developers costs NYC $1.7 billion a year.
- Cost Comparison for Consultant Services – This bill, which requires agencies to conduct a cost comparison prior to entering into a contract for consultant services, passed both houses. Thank you to Assemblymember Bronson and Senator Breslin for sponsoring.
- Creation of $10 Billion “Green” CHIPS Subsidy – This handout to computer chip manufacturers was introduced and passed with a message of necessity and no public opportunity for debate.
- No Complete End to Opportunity Zone Tax Breaks – This bill, which completely ends NY’s Opportunity Zone tax break for real estate investors, passed the Senate but not the Assembly. Thank you to Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Dinowitz for sponsoring.
- No End to Non-Disclosure Agreements in State Contracting – This bill, which ends non-disclosure agreements in state contracts, passed the Senate but not the Assembly. Thank you to Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Solages for sponsoring.
- No Ban on Incentivized Movements within the State – This bill, which prohibits Industrial Development Agencies from incentivizing movements within the state, passed the Senate but not the Assembly. Thank you to Senator Skoufis and Assemblymember Wallace for sponsoring.
Accountable Public Authorities
- Restoration of Public Authorities Control Board Powers – This bill, which restores the powers of the PACB that were removed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, passed both houses. Thank you to Assemblymember Paulin and Senator Comrie for sponsoring.
- Empire State Development Community Advisory Committee Transparency – This bill passed both houses. It requires community advisory committees for economic development projects to meet publicly, and their meeting materials to be posted online. Thank you to Assemblymember Solages and Senator Ramos for sponsoring.
Open Government: Freedom of Information, OML, Open Data
A step back:
- LLC Transparency Act Not Passed – Neither house passed the LLC Transparency Act, which would have required new LLCs in New York State to disclose their beneficial owners. Thank you to Assemblymember Gallagher and Senator Hoylman for sponsoring.
Clean NY Government, Strong Democracy
- John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act – This bill passed both houses. Thank you to sponsors Senator Myrie and Assemblymember Walker and the many advocates who championed the NYVRA, especially NYCLU and the Let NY Vote coalition.
- 10-day Voter Registration Deadline – This bill, which moves the voter registration deadline from 25 to 10 days before an election, passed both houses. Thank you to sponsors Assemblymember Carroll and Senator Kavanagh for helping pass the bill, and to the League of Women Voters and other advocates for supporting.
Home Rule/Less State Micromanagement of Local Government
- NYC Speed Cameras – This bill, which allows NYC speed cameras to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, passed both houses. Thank you to Senator Gounardes and Assemblymember Glick for sponsoring.
- Speed Limits in Localities Other than NYC – This bill, which grants localities other than NYC the ability to lower speed limits to 25 miles per hour, passed both houses. Thank you to Senator May and Assemblymember Paulin for sponsoring.
- No Permanent NYC Authority Over Speed Cameras – Speed cameras must be re-approved by the state in three years. NYC should have permanent authority over traffic safety cameras.
- No Permanent Mayoral Control of Schools – Similarly, mayoral control was only approved for two more years, and significant changes were made by the Legislature to the law. New York City should have the ability to determine its own school governance structure.
- No improvement of ethics laws – Legislation to improve financial disclosure – including for crypto holdings – and strengthen the state’s code of ethics only made it through committee in the Senate, failing to be voted on by the full Senate. The bills did not move in the Assembly. Thank you to the sponsors for their support.