Legislation to Eliminate Inactive Public Authorities

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced that she has introduced legislation (S8165A) to eliminate 118 public authorities and agencies that are no longer active. The 118 authorities, located across New York State, include defunct industrial development agencies, community development agencies, urban renewal agencies and various other public authorities.

“This legislation reduces the size of government, eliminating more than 15% of the public authorities in the State of New York. This is an important step in curbing excessive spending and hiring practices of public authorities and agencies. They operate as autonomous organizations without accountability, and create a huge financial burden on taxpayers,” said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District – D/WF).

For several months, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins conducted an extensive State-wide audit to identify the inactive authorities and agencies. Many of the authorities were created for a limited purpose and have been inactive for many years; or were never activated even though they were authorized to operate by the State Legislature.

None of the 118 authorities or agencies have any outstanding debt or other obligations.

In March of 2010, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins voted to pass the Public Authorities Accountability Act to bring greater accountability to the over 700 New York public authorities. For the first time, public authorities will be subject to oversight by the Legislature, the Comptroller, the Attorney General and an Independent Authorities Budget Office.