Stop Starving That New York State Watchdog


While Governor Kathy Hochul has received praise for her improvements in transparency and accountability of state agencies, good government watchdogs say she must go further and strengthen oversight of powerful unofficial public authorities. of State.

In a recent letter to the government, the Citizens Budget Commission, Common Cause, NYPIRG, Reinvent Albany, League of Women Voters and others warn that the authorities’ budget office has been starved, with a budget of less than a third of what the 2009 law which established that it is considered the bare minimum.

The authorities are regularly embroiled in corruption; one was at the heart of the Buffalo Billion scandal which saw several intimate members of the government of the day. Andrew Cuomo sent to prison.

The ABO is supposed to oversee the MTA, as well as the authorities of Thruway, Power, and Empire State Development, among many others. New York’s 600 or so state and local authorities spend more than $ 60 billion a year and hold a whopping $ 243 billion in debt for which taxpayers are ultimately at risk.

Yet the OBA’s $ 2 million is only enough for a dozen full-time employees, a third of what the 2009 law provided for. It certainly looks like heads of state don’t want this watchdog to bite.

If Hochul is serious about cleaning up the New York government, she’ll get enough money from the OBA to finally start doing her job.


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