New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget plan includes a large amount of unrestricted funding, which a good government group and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have called into question.
Reinvent Albany, a non-profit that advocates for government transparency, says the unrestricted funds included in budget total $10 billion exempt from the comptroller’s pre-audit review, according to NY State of Politics. They say it’s a “corruption risk,” and notes the comptroller’s pre-audit process usually only takes about six days.
“This has been an issue that we’ve talked about over a number of years,” said DiNapoli. “[The change is made] under the guise of being more efficient, and it always happens at budget time.”
According to DiNapoli, “some of the $10 billion multi-year funding for health care is proposed without sufficient oversight and accountability, including $1.6 billion in capital grants. The budget also eliminates the comptroller’s contract oversight and State Finance Law competitive bidding requirements for Medicaid managed care contracts.”
There is a bill on the table to permanently restore the comptroller’s pre-audit power. It’s sponsored by state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski.
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