State lawmakers have been dipping into a new fund of legislative earmarks, spending millions of dollars on everything from renovating parks and playgrounds to hotels over the last three years.
The New York State Assembly spent $325,404 in taxpayer funds to purchase, maintain and fuel vehicles for use by members and staff during its most recent six-month reporting period, according to expenditure data added today to SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
Over the past three years, the state budget has set aside about $1.1 billion into a program to fund local projects across the state. But critics say the program is lacking oversight.
New York State’s $1 billion capital project slush fund is dispensing borrowed money across the state outside public scrutiny, but two local governments have inadvertently given New Yorkers a glimpse of its inner workings.
The Cuomo administration and the state Legislature have begun dishing out grants from a secretive $1.1 billion capital slush fund—all of which will be borrowed money—with no disclosure of project sponsorship or award criteria.
In what's becoming annual tradition, a handful of bills increasing pension benefits for groups of public employees passed in New York's Legislature this year.
The Assembly paid $1.1 million to 130 members for costs related to “legislative duties” performed in Albany between April and September 2014, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center's transparency website. The data was released more than eight months after the end of the reporting period, an unusually long amount of time.
State lawmakers have given a real boost to government transparency and the public's right to know by voting to speed up the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) process.