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Morinello, colleagues call for passage of bipartisan transparency bills

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Thu, Jun 14th 2018 10:40 am
On Wednesday, Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb and members of the Assembly minority conference at a press conference in Albany calling for passage of numerous bipartisan bills to establish greater oversight in economic development programs. Assemblyman Robin Schimminger's "Database of Deals" bill (A.8175) would allow the public to see who receives their tax dollars and whether or not the recipient has made a political contribution to an elected official.
They said taxpayers could also examine taxpayer-funded projects and decide if the governor should be allocating money toward them. They stated "This bill would eliminate wasteful projects and give the power back to the people by letting them decide where their money goes."
"Each year, millions of taxpayer dollars are abused and wasted, but today's press conference was a step in the right direction toward solving this major problem," Morinello said. "The start of the Buffalo Billion trial and a federal investigation into START-UP NY highlight the lack of oversight in our economic development programs, and it is crucial we pass these groundbreaking bills. I'm encouraged by the support for these bills in both houses of the Legislature, but, with less than two scheduled weeks left of session, it's time for action. I applaud Assembly members Schimminger, Peoples-Stokes and Oaks on their bills and urge all legislators on both sides of the aisle to prioritize this critical issue and take advantage of our final days together."
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Assemblyman Robert C. Oaks also sponsor legislation to instill greater government oversight in economic development programs. Peoples-Stokes' bill (A.6355), referred to as the "Procurement Integrity Act," would restore checks and balances by restricting the governor's authority to decide which projects he will spend tax dollars on. The reps. said these regulations would create a level playing field and ensure all are given fair shot at state contracts. Oaks' bill (A.5657) would require increased transparency of taxpayer-funded economic development programs.

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