Discussions on ethics and transparency have exploded over the last couple of weeks, just in time for Sunshine Week. We thought we’d provide this handy list of choice tid-bits, in case you’ve lost track:
- The New York Assembly called the State Thruway Authority to task by requiring public disclosure of a detailed financial plan for the Tappan Zee Bridge project as part of their one-house budget bill.
- The Port Authority’s 2005 10-year Capital Plan seems to no longer be posted online, making it difficult to verify the oft-mentioned and well–reported previous $1 billion Port Authority Bus Terminal replacement cost estimate.
- Less than two weeks remain before the ink will dry on the New York State budget, yet NYSDOT still has not submitted their list of projects that will be funded through the budget—a repeat of previous poor performance.
- Hilary Clinton’s e-mail probe flashed a bright light on Governor Cuomo’s troubling 90-day e-mail retention policy.
- Good government groups responded by calling on the governor to retain e-mails for a minimum of seven years.
- Governor Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Heastie have reached a two-way agreement on ethics reform; Senate Majority Leader Skelos is calling for reforms to include the Executive Branch.
- The Post, Daily News and Newsday have chimed in on the reform proposals, as has Attorney General (and potential gubernatorial candidate) Eric Schneiderman.
- New Jersey Senate Democrats unfortunately failed to garner enough votes to override Governor Christie’s veto of Port Authority reform, leaving both New York and New Jersey back in the drawing room.
The next week or two is Albany’s annual scrum of black box budgeting, where advocates and concerned citizens tend to be left outside the process, hoping for the best. Bets are on as to whether the final tale from the sausage factory will include much-needed reforms.