Senator Nozzolio Opposes Giving ‘Green Jobs’ Funds to ACORN

Michael F. Nozzolio

September 17, 2009

Senator Michael Nozzolio, ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee, announced today that he is sponsoring legislation that would prevent any of the $112 million in state funding attached to the “green jobs” bill, enacted last week by the New York State Senate, from being allocated to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) and its sister organization, the New York Agency for Community Affairs (NYACA).

“ACORN has recently been under fire on a series of fraud and corruption charges. This week, the United States Senate voted 83-7 to stop federal dollars from going to ACORN for housing advocacy,” said Senator Nozzolio, “We need to amend the so-called “green jobs” bill to ensure that none of our taxpayers hard-earned dollars finds its way into the pockets of this organization or any group affiliated with it.”

Senator Nozzolio has implored the New York State Attorney General and the Comptroller to freeze all funds allocated to ACORN and its partner organizations. In addition, Senator Nozzolio requested a thorough and comprehensive review of all monies that may be funneled to ACORN through other tax-payer funded appropriations. In response, the Attorney General has agreed to investigate any State funds earmarked for ACORN and the Comptroller has agreed to cease all funding allocated to the organization. The Speaker of the New York City Council has frozen city funds for ACORN, as well.

The “green jobs” bill was enacted last week during a special session of the New York State Senate. It had previously been adopted by the Assembly and will now go to Governor Paterson for signature. Senator Nozzolio was one of eight New York State Senators to vote against the legislation. Senator Nozzolio adamantly opposed the measure on the grounds that it was wrought with opportunities for fraud and corruption.

Senator Nozzolio commented, “Everyone from the City of New York to the United States Census Bureau has been cutting their contracts with ACORN. It is unacceptable to give more funding to an organization that has a reputation for misusing taxpayer money.”

“Should the Governor sign the “green jobs” bill into law, we must enact strong legislation to ensure that no money from the program is given to ACORN or its related groups,” concluded Senator Nozzolio, “New York State Taxpayers are facing tough economic times and their hard-earned tax dollars should not be used to fund organizations with such questionable practices.”