Last week, the Assembly Republican conference announced new legislation that is “designed to bring transparency to New York’s many economic development programs.”

A.10531 would provide stronger oversight of taxpayer-funded programs by creating a three-member board to review and approve funding originating from lump sum appropriations worth $1 million or more; impose penalties on public officials who fail to meet mandated reporting deadlines; provide for an independent review of economic development programs and the state’s tax code; and prohibit individuals who serving as appointees who distribute discretionary state funds from making political donations to the appointing authority.

Assembly Republican Leader Brian Kolb said:

“Officials in Albany need to wake up and realize they are not spending their own money. Investigations are expanding, subpoenas are flying, and concerns are mounting about how economic development funds are administered. As elected representatives it is our job to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, but somewhere along the way, people have forgotten that. Right now, the state is conducting its own investigation into problems with its own economic development programs — is there any more evidence that the system needs to be changed?”