The Empire Center participated in “Sunshine Week,” a nationwide effort to promote government transparency. This year, Sunshine Week was observed from March 15 to 21. Here’s what we did:
- Sunday: Our state budget tool has been updated to allow users to examine the taxes and spending in Governor Cuomo’s proposed FY2016 budget.
- Monday: Over 7,000 pay records for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were made available on our transparency website, SeeThroughNY. The data show at least ten Port Authority police officers were paid over $300,000 last year.
- Tuesday: The highest and lowest property tax rates in the state were ranked as part of the latest Benchmarking New York report. Data was also updated on the property tax calculator.
- Wednesday: We released highlights from our database of teachers union and superintendent contracts, which we’ve hosted and updated since 2008.
- Thursday: We posted expenditure data showing how the New York State Senate spent money between April 1 and September 30, 2014. The Assembly has not yet made their spending data from the period available.
- Friday: Local governments have begun improving their websites using our 2014 SeeThroughNY Local Government Website Report Card, which created standards detailing the information that the public should be able to access. We highlighted some of the improvements on our blog, the NY Torch.