Still Time to Enact Economic Transparency Measures

By John Kaehny, Commentary

More information: John Kaehny is Executive Director of Reinvent Albany. Also contributing to this article were Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, and Dave Friedfel, Director of State Studies for the Citizens Budget Commission.

Albany Times Union, Published 6:00 pm, Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Last week, the state Legislature approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request to spend about $6.5 billion on a grab bag of economic development projects and business tax breaks — more than three times what the state will spend on clean drinking water. Unfortunately, left out of the budget were common sense transparency and accountability measures that are badly needed to ensure economic development funding is easy to track, and that projects are a good investment for taxpayers.

The governor and lawmakers should be feeling significant pressure to enact meaningful reforms. This is the first state budget since nine people — including top aides to the governor — were arrested last October for allegedly rigging $800 million in upstate economic development funds. (read more)