Back in 2011, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders passed a budget deal that stripped the state comptroller’s office of oversight powers that it had had for over a century. Now, over 30 organizations have signed onto a memo of support urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that would restore many of those oversight powers. John Kaehny, executive director of Reinvent Albany, told Capital Tonight that if Gov. Hochul wants to fulfill her promise of a “new era of transparency," she needs to sign this bill into law.
The bill, which was sponsored by state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowksi, would restore most but not all of the oversight powers that were stripped away. Kaehny said the bill would allow the comptroller’s office to review state contracts for organizations like SUNY and the Office of General Services before they are signed. Kaehny argues this oversight could have prevented the state from overpaying for COVID-19 tests or some of the bad spending in the Buffalo Billion.
Over 30 organizations have signed onto a memo of support urging the governor to sign this bill to restore the powers that the comptroller’s office had had for over a century. Kaehny touts that the coalition has support from groups on both sides of the political spectrum.
The bill has not yet been delivered to the governor. Once delivered, the governor has 10 days to act on the bill by either signing it into law or vetoing it.