An online database shows just how drastic of a decrease in state member items — commonly known as “pork-barrel spending” — are coming into the area.

The latest tally of legislative member items in the Southern Tier on the See Through NY Web site, operated by the Empire Center for Public Policy, shows a multi-million-dollar drop from a year ago. State-wide, $148.33 million was earmarked for member items, according to the Web site, and many local legislators were unable to secure as much funding this year.

State Sen. George Winner, R-Elmira — a district which covers Steuben, Schuyler, Yates, Chemung and part of Tompkins counties — saw a dramatic drop in member items. Of the member items in the budget, $250,000 were earmarked by Winner — compared to $2.1 million in the 2008-09 budget.

That drop doesn’t mean Albany officials are cracking down on spending. Instead, it’s a reflection of who is now running the show.

While Winner still remains prominent in the Republican Party in Albany, Democrats took over the state Senate in the November general election for the first time in decades. In the 2008-09 budget, the state spent $148.12 million on earmarks….

Read article here

You may also like

What we know (and don’t know) about NY COVID-19 nursing home deaths after DOH report

David Robinson The state Department of Health's own analysis of COVID-19 nursing home deaths has renewed politically the charged debate over how and why coronavirus ravaged the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Read More

Faced with $10B deficit, MTA says it’s eyeing cutting overtime spending

Alfonso Castillo The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is adding urgency to the agency’s efforts to curtail overtime numbers that critics say remain alarmingly high. The MTA said at Wed Read More

City and state officials contend with a dire future as New York reopens

Brian Pascus As New York begins to reopen from the Covid-19 lockdown, Read More

Pandemic, recession don’t bring down school budgets

Stephen T. Watson This year's school elections were delayed and then shifted entirely to voting by mail thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, which also shut down schools here and across the country. District officials worried this new method of Read More

Here’s Cuomo’s Plan for Reopening New York

Jesse McKinley ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday presented a soft blueprint for how New York State’s economy might begi Read More

States with few virus cases get big share of relief aid

Geoff Mulvihill Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming are not epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet these four states scored big this spri Read More

What to expect in the state’s first round of spending cuts

Rebecca Lewis Regular viewers of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus press briefings have heard the governor say time and again that New York state is broke. Revenue projections are way down and the state is facing a budget deficit that is Read More

Eyeing Medicaid Cuts, Cuomo Puts His Stamp On A $3 Trillion Stimulus Bill

Caroline Lewis During state budget discussions in March, Governor Andrew Cuomo  that the pandemic would not stop him from pushing through changes to Medicaid that he said were necessary to contain the growth of its more than $70 billion annu Read More


Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.


Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130


The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.