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Cuomo gets removal authority for PAC board members to avoid another Amazon scenario

A provision tucked into an omnibus budget bill would give the governor the authority to remove a member of the Public Authorities Control Board if they are not voting within the defined scope of the law that created the board.

Think of it as the Amazon clause in the budget.

The provision was included in the revenue bill of the budget after Sen. Mike Gianaris earlier this year was nominated to the Public Authorities Control Board, the entity that had potential veto power over tax incentives for Amazon to bring up to 25,000 jobs to Long Island City in Queens.

Gianaris was a critic of the project, which Amazon ultimately back away from amid opposition at both the local and state level in New York.

Cuomo blamed Senate Democrats for Amazon’s decision to pull the plug on the project and the governor viewed Gianaris’s nomination as the provocation that ultimately led to its failure.

Cuomo this month read a portion of the law creating the board that stipulated members must only consider the financial feasibility of funding a project.

The budget provision stipulates that if a PACB member does not vote based on the law, they could face removal.

“As the appointing authority, the governor has the full discretion to immediately remove a member of the board he or she finds to be acting, or threatening to act, beyond the scope of such member’s legal authority set forth herein,” according to the bill language.

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