The state Assembly has not released expenditure reports, including per diems paid to lawmakers, for more than a year, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy.
Details of spending on state legislative operations and offices dating back to 2006 are posted on SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s government transparency website. The Empire Center converts biannual reports from the Senate and Assembly into a searchable format.
Tim Hoefer, the Empire Center’s executive director, said the Assembly has not made public its spending reports for any period since the one ending March 31, 2014. The Senate released data for the subsequent period ending last September more than three months ago.
“The Legislature should be more forthcoming with timely details of how it spends roughly $200 million in taxpayer money,” said Hoefer. “The hold-up in release of the Assembly information makes us wonder whether Speaker Heastie is even less committed to transparency than his predecessor was.”
Because the Assembly and Senate are not subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Law, the public is unable to obtain information from them until lawmakers choose to release it. Hoefer noted this is further proof that the Legislature should be covered by the law.
The Empire Center is a non-partisan, non-profit, independent think tank based in Albany.
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