2017

June 26, 2017: Good Government Advocates

June 26, 2017. FPI’s Executive Director, Ron Deutsch joins Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director for the League of Women Voters of New York State and Blair Horner, Executive Director of NYPIRG on WCNY News to discuss the failure of lawmakers to pass contract procurement and ethic reforms and voting laws.

“It’s been a sad day in Albany. It’s a bad day at the end of the legislative session when nothing gets done on contract reform, on economic development reform and we … (read more)

Is Ethics Reform Dead in Albany?

June 26, 2017. This article discusses the failure of lawmakers to implement ethical reforms that would prevent bid-rigging scandals in economic development contracts. The article discusses how Governor Cuomo is against the contract procurement bill and is proposing to hire a new inspector general who will work under him. Many are not happy with this decision and do not agree with the Governor’s proposal, including FPI’s Executive Director, Ron Deutsch.

Ron Deutsch, with the union backed think tank Fiscal Policy … (read more)

Cuomo Raises Prospect of ‘Faso-Collins Federal Tax’

June 26, 2017. An article featured in the Times Union discusses the proposal of Governor Cuomo’s “Faso-Collins Federal Tax,” which is a $2.3 billion tax added on to local property taxes in New York State in order to offset the costs of Medicaid. The article notes that some do not support this proposal and criticize the governor for not cutting his own budget and deem is as a scheme and suggest that another source of revenue is needed.

Gov. Andrew … (read more)

N.Y. Legislature Ends Session, But Plenty of Work Remains

June 24, 2017. An article in the Saratogian, that quotes FPI’s executive director Ron Deutsch, discussed the failure of the Senate and Assembly to pass a routine school governance extender and reforms to prevent future bid-rigging scandals. They may convene again in the summer to make a decision on education and extending local sales tax.

The Senate and Assembly adjourned for the summer Wednesday without acting on ethics reform, despite a 2016 legislative session that saw former Senate Majority Leader … (read more)

Response from Governor Cuomo, Senate Leader Flanagan and Speaker Heastie to Largest Bid-Rigging Scandal in State History: NOTHING

Response from Governor Cuomo, Senate Leader Flanagan and Speaker Heastie to Largest Bid-Rigging Scandal in State History: NOTHING Elected leaders fail to pass common sense reforms to curb sky-high corruption risks revealed in $800m state contracting scandal  

(June 22, 2017, Albany) A coalition of prominent government watchdog groups say Governor Cuomo, Senate Leader Flanagan and Speaker Heastie have completely failed to address the huge problems revealed by last year’s alleged rigging of $800m in state economic development contracts and that … (read more)

Lack of Reforms at NY Capitol Called ‘Pathetic’

June 22, 2017. An article, featured in Lohud ,discussed Governor Cuomo’s decision not to enact reforms for better transparency when allocating money for economic development programs. Groups called for changes such as a “Database of Deals” and the restoration of power to the state comptroller to review state contracts. The reforms were requested in response bid-rigging scandals.

Legislative leaders and Cuomo failed to find a compromise on how to better review state contracts and job-creation programs amid the arrests last … (read more)

OUR VIEW: Celebrate World Refugee Day Saturday at City Hall

June 16, 2017. An editorial featured in the Observer-Dispatch cited FPI’s and the Center for American Progress’s co-released report, “Refugee Integration in the United States.” The op-ed is not only an invitation to celebrate World Refugee Day with those in Utica, but it also discusses how Utica is a city that refugees have helped rebuild by contributing to the local economy and tax rolls and reversing population decline.

There is little question that refugees are making significant contributions to our … (read more)

Clean Contracting Bill Gaining Support

June 14, 2017. Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, joined Alex Camarda, Senior Policy Consultant at Reinvent Albany, and Jennifer Wilson from the League of Women Voters, on Capital Tonight to discuss the “clean contracting” bill, which would require transparency of economic development projects. Ron argues that now is a good opportunity for the legislature to earn the community’s trust and address the issue before the trial for the bid-rigging scandal as the legislative session ends.

Here … (read more)

Reform Groups Beg: Bolster NY’s Contracting Laws

June 14, 2017. FPI and other organizations gathered in the Capitol to ask lawmakers to pass reforms that would expand New York State’s contracting guidelines in order to oversee economic development projects and to prevent other bribery and bid-rigging scandals. Reforms that these organizations are pushing for include a “database of deals”, which track public money given to private corporations.

Government-reform organizations including Reinvent Albany, the New York Public Interest Research Group and the League of Women Voters gathered in … (read more)

Legislature Must Act Now: Clean Contracting Reforms

For immediate release: June 14, 2017

Legislature Must Act Now Groups say Flanagan, Heastie and Cuomo must pass meaningful Clean Contracting reforms in response to $800m state bid-rigging scandal

Albany, New York – Prominent budget and transparency watchdog groups today called on the legislative leaders to act on their public statements on clean contracting, and pass meaningful legislation in response to the largest bid-rigging scandal in state history.

Senate President John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie are both on … (read more)