A Deal on Authorities
November 18th, 2009

Update: The Senate now is expected to vote on the authorities bill this (Wednesday) evening.

A budget deal still seems far away, but leaders in Albany have apparently reached accord on another vexing issue: changing some of the rules governing the state’s public authorities.

Details are not yet available, David King reports from Albany, but apparently the Senate, Assembly and governor’s office have signed off on a bill designed to make public authorities such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Empire State Development Corp. more efficient and accountable. State Sen. Bill Perkins, who has been one of the proponents of “authorities reform,” told King he is happy with the deal, which he sees “as moving in the right direction.”

The Assembly could vote on the measure as early as today, but Perkins does not expect the Senate to. There will be a press conference on the agreement later today with Assemblymember Richard Brodsky, a sponsor of measures to rein in the authorities, Perkins and the governor’s office.

Although the bill is not technically a budget measure, Perkins said it would save money by curbing some of the excess spending at the authorities.

The state had seemed close to passing the Public Authorities Reform Act earlier this year, but then Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson raised objections. Bloomberg did not like parts of the measure that would have limited his authority over authorities and claimed the bill would hurt development projects by requiring that, when authorities sell any land they own, they must get the market rate. (So, for example the MTA would have to sell its property at Atlantic Yards to Bruce Ratner for the going price, whatever that might be.) No word yet on whether the soon-to-be-announced agreement addresses these concerns

By on November 18, 2009, 3:25 pm
In category: Albany,Public Finance | Comments Off on A Deal on Authorities

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