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Gotham Gazette

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Committee on Governmental Operations

Committee on Governmental Operations

  • City Council Passes 'Open Budget' Bill Mayor Has Yet to Support

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    The New York City Council passed legislation on Tuesday mandating that the government agency that oversees the city’s $85.2 billion annual budget provide all budget documents to the public in an easily accessible and machine-readable format.

    The legislation, sponsored by

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  • A Rarity: City Council Candidate Releases Detailed Reform Agenda

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    City Council candidate Keith Powers (photo: @KeithPowersNYC)


    Candidates across the city this year are running for City Council on all sorts of issues, but only one has released a detailed list of government, campaign finance, and voting reform proposals. That agenda, called “

    Bill Seeks Fix to Conflicts Disclosure Deadline for Candidates

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council Committee on Governmental Operations met on Monday to discuss a bill to relax the deadline for candidates seeking public office to submit disclosure reports to the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB).

    COIB is a city agency tasked with enforcing conflicts of interest laws for public officials and preempting potential conflicts for those seeking elected office. Candidates for public office are required to submit financial disclosures to the agency detailing, among other

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  • City Council Members Question Campaign Finance Board Audit Process

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    City Council Member David Greenfield (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    At a City Council hearing on Friday, representatives of the city’s Campaign Finance Board expected to answer questions about their proposed budget for the next fiscal year but instead found themselves defending their processes for post-election auditing of campaigns.

    One of the Campaign Finance Board’s prime functions is to perform detailed examinations of how candidate campaigns utilize funds and whether they adhere to the strict requirements of campaign finance law. These

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  • Pushing Back, Board of Elections Head Insists on ‘Personal Responsibility’ for Voters

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    Long line of voters (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The executive director of the New York City Board of Elections said at a City Council budget hearing on Friday that recent failings by the board, revealed in a WNYC report, were not entirely the BOE’s responsibility and that voters in New York needed to step up their participation and involvement in ensuring that their votes count.

    WNYC radio’s Brigid Bergin reported

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  • Proposal Would Boost Public Campaign Matching Funds

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    A bill heard by the City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations on Thursday aims to further limit the influence of big-dollar donations and special interests in city elections. The bill, co-sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, who chairs the committee, would tweak the city’s public campaign finance system by removing a cap on public funds disbursed to candidate campaigns by the Campaign Finance Board (CFB).

    The city’s campaign finance system is held up as a national model that incentivizes small

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  • City Council Rushes Through Campaign Finance Bills

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    City Council chambers (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    The City Council is rushing through a package of bills to reform the city’s campaign finance system. About a dozen bills driven by Council members’ frustrations with the Campaign Finance Board and its rigorous reporting system are being moved through the Council at an almost unseen pace, raising eyebrows.

    There are actually two packages of bills that will be passed through the Council this week: one that has been sitting idle for months after a hearing, which will go through the

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  • Hearing Advances Reforms to City Campaign Finance System

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio is mired in controversy over his fundraising activities and proximity to lobbyists, the City Council is moving on bills to reduce the possibility of ‘pay-to-play’ campaign financing and make significant tweaks to strengthen an already-robust public-matching system.

    The Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held a hearing on Monday to examine ...

  • Push for a Better Mayor's Management Report Continues

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    The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held an oversight hearing on Wednesday to evaluate the structure and content of two annual city reports that measure everything from the wait times on 311 calls and the conditions of city parks to the number of unsheltered homeless people and traffic crashes in the city each year. These key performance indicators help the City Council and the public keep city agencies and offices accountable. Those agencies, in turn, rely on these reports to improve their policies and functioning.

    The administration

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  • 8 Government Ops Agencies to Face Council Questions

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    CM Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    As preliminary budget hearings at the City Council approach the end of their third week, the Committee on Governmental Operations will meet Thursday to evaluate the expense plan for a host of city agencies.

    Members of the committee, chaired by Manhattan Council Member Ben Kallos, will meet representatives of eight city

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  • Mail Your Vote, Then Track It?

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    CM Kallos at a recent press conference on traffic safety (photo: @BenKallos)


    NEW YORK - There is a voter turnout crisis in this country, this state, and this city. Causes abound, including mistrust of politicians and barriers to easy voting. As elected officials, advocates, and experts look for solutions, some argue an inefficient system handling absentee ballots has caused thousands of New Yorkers to miss the opportunity to cast their votes.

    "We received numerous calls from frustrated voters who had not

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