Governor Hochul’s End-of-Year Action on Reinvent Albany’s 2022 Legislative Priorities
At the end of 2022, three Reinvent Albany legislative priorities were on Governor Hochul’s desk.
- SIGNED Comptroller Powers Restoration (S6809-A/A7925-A) – Governor Hochul signed legislation restoring the Comptroller’s contract oversight powers. This comes after a ten-year campaign that began after Governor Cuomo forced through legislation removing the powers in 2011. The Comptroller now has the power to review Office of General Services centralized contracts, SUNY Construction Fund contracts, and CUNY purchase contracts before they are signed (among others). The Legislature did agree to a chapter amendment that would raise contract review thresholds and reduce the amount of time for Comptroller review, but the changes were minor. We thank the Governor for signing, sponsors Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and Assemblymember Ken Zebrowski for pushing for the bill, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie for keeping the bill strong, and the dozens of unions, watchdogs, and public policy groups that supported the bill.
- SIGNED Transparency of Community Advisory Committees (CACs) for economic development projects (S8419-B/A9622-C) – We thank Governor Hochul for signing legislation requiring Community Advisory Committees formed for Empire State Development mega-projects to meet publicly, provide public notice of meetings, and publish all meeting materials on ESD’s website. The legislation was supported by nearly 30 groups and spurred by the lack of transparency around the Penn Station redevelopment project. We thank Senator Jessica Ramos, Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, and their staff for their sponsorship of the legislation and work to ensure the bill became law.
- VETOED Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) repeal (S7337/A10157) – Governor Hochul vetoed a bill with the support of over 25 groups that would have repealed changes to the PACB that former Governor Cuomo pushed through without public debate or discussion during the FY 2019-2020 budget cycle. Those changes gave the executive the power to remove members of the PACB and limited their scope to only consider whether there are sufficient funding commitments for projects before the board. This legislation would have restored the independence of the PACB and ensured that the representatives serving on the PACB have the power to conduct proper oversight of public authority proposals without fear of retribution. We thank Senator Leroy Comrie and Assemblymember Amy Paulin for their sponsorship of this bill, and we will continue to work with them in 2023 to get this bill over the finish line.