Reinvent Albany Supports Bill Prohibiting Conflicts of Interest at IDAs

S520-A (Comrie) / A4847-A (Jacobson)
Prohibits Conflicts of Interest at IDAs

An act to amend the general municipal law, in relation to prohibiting individuals in certain positions from taking any position with a business or entity doing business with an industrial development authority.

Section 1 adds a new subsection 2 to General Municipal Law §883 prohibiting IDA members, officers, employees, and independent contractors from taking positions with business entities applying for benefits from the authority within two years of the end of the individual’s employment at the authority. Subsection 2(b) provides that this provision shall not apply to trades workers, nor to union members who are members of the IDA board. Under a new subsection 3, any person who intentionally violates these provisions shall pay a penalty to the IDA equal to five times the benefit received.

Section 2 states that the bill takes effect immediately.

Reinvent Albany supports this bill, which will reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in IDAs by prohibiting members from abusing their position to steer public dollars into their own pockets.

We believe IDAs are a major corruption risk, and note the recent IDA scandal in Orange County. This bill will help prevent potential conflict of interest and abuse of public funds by IDAs.

We urge the Governor to sign the bill.

Click here to view the memo as a PDF.