This Week in Albany

Legislative Update

Several of CSEA’s end of session priority bills have begun to move through the legislature, including the following bills that moved in committee this week:

  • S.2728 – Griffo: Increases penalties for assaulting an OCFS employee in a limited or secure facility.
  • S.2949 – Ritchie: Requires DOCCS to create a report on the staffing levels of both the uniformed and non-uniformed staff at DOCCS facilities.
  • S.3027 – Ranzenhofer: Prohibits sex offenders at OMH/OPWDD group homes.
  • S.4630 – Gallivan: Prohibits the collocation of the Western NY Psychiatric Center at another facility.
  • S.5681 – Ortt / A.7399A – Gunther: Codifies CSEA’s OPWDD care pilots in law.
  • A.2229 – Gunther: Requires a notice of closure to expire after one year and one month within OMH.

Additionally, the Assembly passed legislation that would give the Office of the State Comptroller authority to audit local development corporations (LDCs). Increasingly, LDCs are being used to finance the day-to-day operations of local governments. This legislation would provide critical oversight of the use of taxpayer money.

Visit the Legislative & Political Action Department’s website for more information on the legislation CSEA is supporting or opposing during the final weeks of the 2017 legislative session.

 

Comptroller Audit: Economic Development Reporting is Lacking

An audit released by Comptroller DiNapoli this week showed that the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) has failed to meet reporting requirements for its economic development programs.

ESDC’s audited financial statements show that it spent almost $2 billion on economic development grants and hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, tax credits, and other incentives between April 2012 and September 2016. But according to the Comptroller’s audit report, ESDC failed to complete more than half of the performance and outcome reports it was required to produce during those years.

The Comptroller’s report highlights the lack of public accountability in State tax credits and other job-creation programs. CSEA will continue to advocate for more transparency and oversight of economic development programs.

 

School District Budget Votes

Voters approved roughly 99% of school district budgets this week. With a tax cap of 1.26% for the 2017-18 fiscal year, 12 districts sought to override the cap. Three of those budgets failed to pass.

Thank you to all who supported our schools.

 

At a Glance

The legislature will be in Albany for three days next week before heading back to their home districts for a week. The legislature will then return on June 5 for the final weeks of session.