Albany Must Act To Protect Taxpayers’ Investment

Oaks Launches Effort to Enact Economic Development Reforms
May 2, 2017

As the state Legislature returned to Albany, Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R-C Macedon) launched a public advocacy campaign for a series of economic development reforms that should be enacted before the end of the legislative session this June.

“The budget was a missed opportunity to enact meaningful reforms to protect taxpayers’ investment in economic development, but we still have two months to reach an agreement and enact the reforms that are necessary to ensure greater oversight and accountability of state spending without the types of corruption that we have seen related to projects like the ‘Buffalo Billion’ or the SUNY Polytechnic Institute,” said Oaks, who is the sponsor of the omnibus legislative package in the state Assembly. “This is my highest legislative priority.”

Oaks’ economic development reforms include creating a three-member panel comprised of the Comptroller, Attorney General and Budget Director to oversee and approve state contracts and check for conflicts of interest. Additionally, his plan would examine existing economic development programs to ensure that programs are producing results for the taxpayers who fund them. Finally, his plan creates new reporting requirements to track the progress of state-funded projects and to reduce opportunities for corruption.

More information about Oaks’ reform package can be viewed in this video.