The Empire Center today marked the first anniversary of its government transparency web site, SeeThroughNY.net, with the posting of $148.3 million in legislative pork barrel member items for 2009-10. The online database, which also includes $148.1 million in member items for 2008-09, is searchable by legislator, locality and recipient.
Members of the state Senate Majority spent an average of 62 percent more on their legislative offices than Minority party members during the six months ending March 31, while Assembly Majority members spent 33 percent more than Minority members during the same period, according to a new searchable database of legislative expenditure reports posted today at SeeThroughNY.net.
To promote greater public scrutiny of tax-funded expenditures, the Empire Center for Public Policy has assembled a list of pork-barrel "member items" found in the 2007-08 budget bills passed by the Legislature.
The Empire Center for Public Policy has obtained complete lists of legislative and gubernatorial pork-barrel spending--also known as "member items"--for each of the past three years. The documents amount to 1,154 pages, listing 22,980 individual grants totaling just over $479 million.
Gov. George E. Pataki set just the right tone for this year's New York state budget battle when he opened the legislative session in January with a plea to avoid "job killing" tax increases. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver replied: "On the subject of taxes, let me be very clear, the Assembly is not advocating tax hikes."