The state budget will fund other projects that members of the Legislature undoubtedly will tout at some point. The Empire Center, a fiscally conservative Albany think tank, highlighted on Friday a $385 million increase to the State and Municipal Facilities Program, a pot of general capital project funding that is derided by critics as being opaque and overly broad in terms of the types of projects can be funded.
"When you say what's the local impact? My answer is I have no idea," the Empire Center's E.J. McMahon said. "It's not programmed. It's capital pork."
The new state budget will fund a 35 percent expansion of a murky $1.1 billion pork-barrel slush fund controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers.
In 2014, the Empire Center created guidelines for what information local governments and school districts should make available on their websites—and found that most of the state's 500 largest municipalities and districts were not meeting that standard.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s employee overtime spending rose by $84 million, or 11 percent, last year, according to a report by The Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany based think tank.
Overtime spending by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rose 11 percent in 2015, making it possible for hundreds of employees to double their pay, according to payroll records added today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s government transparency website.
Tim Hoefer talks about the need for transparency in public policy, especially as it relates to pork spending in the NYS budget.
A bill devised by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, sets new standards for the disclosure of state budget discretionary funds and how they will be spent.
Taxpayers continued shouldering costs for Sheldon Silver’s legal defense in the months after he stepped down as Assembly speaker, according to the latest Senate and Assembly expenditure data added to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.