Senators Urge Governor to Sign Authorities Reform Bill

Corporations, Authorities and Commission
817 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-2441

For Immediate Release: For Information Contact:
Friday August 21, 2009 Cordell Cleare at (646) 326-6601

Senators Urge Governor to Sign Authorities Reform Bill

Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) and his Senate colleagues sent a letter to Governor Paterson urging adoption of the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009. The bill enjoyed near universal, bi-partisan support in both houses, and would impose transparency and accountability on public agencies, like the MTA, that traditionally operate with minimal oversight. Governor Paterson threatened to veto the bill.

“A veto now makes no sense,” said Senator Perkins, Chair of the Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions, and the bill’s prime Senate sponsor. “New York’s authorities have operated in secret, mismanaged resources, and showered developers with sweetheart deals long enough. This legislation results from years of hard work and expert analysis. The Governor must step up and sign on behalf of the people.”

The bill contains measures such as establishing an independent authorities budget office with investigatory power, and requiring that authority business be conducted in a fiscally responsible manner. Editorial boards and civic groups around the state have hailed it as a sweeping reform. Mayor Bloomberg pressured the Governor to veto.

“Governor Paterson needs to stop listening to those who would preserve the status quo. This bill contains nothing but common sense fixes, like a requirement that public land must be sold at fair market value. When the Governor was in the Senate, he was known as a reformer. We call on him to come back home.”

Senator Perkins and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester), the bill’s Assembly sponsor are considering a series of public meetings regarding authority practices. They plan on releasing a major statement on authority debt within the next few days.