ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The state’s $150 billion budget passed earlier this month failed to include dramatic changes to how the state does business.
With nine people currently facing federal charges in a potential bid-rigging scheme, including former president of SUNY Poly Alain Kaloyeros, lawmakers argue this is necessary.
A unanimous vote from the Senate Finance Committee means New York could soon change who approves state contracts.
“The fact is this is something that needs to be done,” Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R), said.
Sen. DeFrancisco says the state comptroller needs to be able to review all state contracts.
“There’s got to be some way to negotiate the whole picture whether it’s in the budget or otherwise and without checks and balances there’s no way to do that.”
The Republican deputy majority leader sponsored a bill that would allow the state comptroller to review all contracts, be able to review SUNY/CUNY contracts and stop contracting state projects through non-profits like those currently tied to a federal investigation, just to name a few.
“I’m sure the governor won’t like whatever comes out of it because it restricts his authority and he likes to have authority, more authority than he has now.”
This package of reforms looks promising to pass the Senate and move over here to the Assembly, but so far there’s little indication it will move.
“The day before yesterday the governor had talked about how he didn’t think there was an appetite for in the Assembly to do ethics reform, he’s clearly not talking to my colleagues,” Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh said.
Why Assembly Democrats plan on ethics if any is unclear. Walsh says her conference is ready to act.
“I do think that the oversight piece is really critically important,” Walsh said.
In recent years, the issue of ethics reform has been all talk, whether both houses will agree to act turns into another waiting game.