Citizens Union, a good government group, in their recent “Spending in the Shadows” report, notes that state lawmakers are moving to set aside nearly $14 billion that could be spent next year with very little oversight or accountability. In particular they found Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget has $4.3 billion in 60 discretionary funding pots that are only subject to spending decisions by one or more elected official. In addition, their report identifies another $9.5 billion in funds (in 44 separate economic development and infrastructure pots) that lack clarity and accountability to ensure end results.
Citizen Director Dick Dadley suggested that our lawmakers must identify all lump-sum funds and explain their purpose. He further adds, unless addressed, these nuances are “ripe for corruption.” I suggest a reading of their full report.