The State and Municipal Facilities Program (SMFP)
The State and Municipal Facilities Program (SMFP) began as a $385 million appropriation in the fiscal 2014 budget. While the original statutory purpose of the program was to provide grants to local governments for capital purposes, it was modified in 2014, allowing SMFP funds to be directed to private businesses for “economic development” purposes. In each of the three budgets since its creation, the Legislature has added more borrowing power to the program, and it has now reached $1.54 billion.
There are several reasons to be concerned about the State and Municipal Facilities Program:
- Following a 2014 modification to the program, SMFP funds can now be steered to benefit private businesses, such as the developers constructing an outlet mall on Staten Island, who received $25 million.
- There is no provision of the law that explains how programs are selected, or who ultimately controls the process
- There is no requirement for disclosure of the elected official who is directing the money to an individual project
- The projects are funded with borrowed money using bonds issued, without voter approval, by the Dormitory Authority
- The increased debt reduces the state’s ability to borrow money for essential infrastructure projects
The Empire Center has made 644 projects which have sought or received funds from the program searchable in our pork database on SeeThroughNY.net.
Previous Empire Center analysis of the State and Municipal Facilities Program:
- Budget pours more into slush fund, NY Torch, April 1, 2016
- Empire Center Pries Open the Pork Barrel, press release, January 19, 2016
- A glimpse into slush guidelines, NY Torch, August 5, 2015
- Inside Albany’s secretive slush fund, NY Torch, August 3, 2015
- Oink again!, NY Torch, April 3, 2015
- Oink!, NY Torch, April 22, 2014
"...the Empire Center is the think tank that spent months trying to pry Covid data out of Mr. Cuomo's government, which offered a series of unbelievable excuses for its refusal to disclose...five months after it (the Empire Center) sued, Team Cuomo finally started coughing up some of the records." -Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2021
SIGN UP TO READ ABOUT THE ISSUES IMPACTING NEW YORKERS.
Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research. Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!