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Watchdog Groups Want More Oversight Of Economic Development Contracts

The New York Capitol Building in Albany
Karen DeWitt

New York watchdog groups agree that lawmakers should enact more oversight of the state’s economic development contracts. This push follows a scandal that’s led to nine former associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo being charged with crimes including bid rigging and bribery.  

Ron Deutsch, with the union-backed think tank Fiscal Policy Institute, says one of the bills would reinstate the authority of the state controller to review the economic development projects to flag potential conflicts in advance.

“We should make sure that the comptroller has the ability to review these contracts both pre and post going out the door.”

David Friedfel, with the business-affiliated Citizens Budget Commission, agrees and also backs a bill to create a database of all economic development contracts in the state.

“It’s important that people see what that money is being used for and whether or not the state is really getting a return on its investment.”

They say taxpayers need to know how nearly $9 billion of their money is being spent.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.