Saturday, December 4, 2021

Play

A new report shows, despite getting billions under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue to disrupt travelers' plans with cancellations, and Congress averts a government shutdown for now.

Play

U.S. House passes a stopgap government funding bill; the Omicron variant is found in Minnesota; Biden administration revives the "Remain in Mexico" policy; and the Bidens light the National Christmas Tree.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Good-Government Groups Call for Contracting Reform in 2019

Play

Friday, January 4, 2019   

NEW YORK – Government watchdogs are urging New York State to finally pass legislation to fight corruption in state contracting.

Massive corruption scandals have rocked the Empire State, including the convictions of some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top aides and campaign contributors. But legislation has stalled for the last two years that would to allow the state comptroller to review contracts with state-affiliated nonprofits, and create an open database of state subsidies to businesses.

Alex Camarda, advisor with Reinvent Albany, says the database would allow public scrutiny of state and local economic-development subsidies totaling some $8 billion.

"It would provide transparent information as to which companies receive benefits, how many benefits they received, what type of benefits they received, and to see if they're really producing the jobs that they say they're going to," says Camarda.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie had hoped to reach agreements with the state Senate and the governor, but recently indicated he may allow the Assembly to vote on the measures.

According to Camarda, Gov. Cuomo has promised contracting reform but has resisted legislative efforts, especially a bill to let the state comptroller review contracts before they're executed.

"That's something that we think is vital and would have prevented these corruption scandals that we've seen, had the comptroller been able to review the contracts before they went out the door," says Camarda.

Cuomo says the reforms would hinder development upstate. Instead, he has advocated creating new inspectors general and special prosecutors to police contract corruption.

But Camadra believes that with changes in Albany, including Democratic control of the state Senate for the first time in a decade, there is new potential for progress on a whole range of reforms.

"I think it's really incumbent on the governor and the lawmakers to seize the moment and show that they can transform Albany, which has really been plagued by scandals now for decades," says Camarda.


get more stories like this via email

Indigenous people in Peru demonstrate against oil drilling in 2013. (Amazon Watch)

Environment

LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …


Environment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…

Social Issues

PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …


From left, Andrea Comer, committee chairwoman, Connecticut Social Equity Council, and Carlton Highsmith, Joseph Carbone and Fred McKinney announce the Alliance for Cannabis Equity on Tuesday in Hamden, Conn. (The Narrative Project)

Social Issues

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …

Social Issues

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …

Hastings-on-Hudson is currently the highest-ranking town in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021