Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today called on Governor Spitzer to make good on his campaign promise of reforming Albany by delivering an Executive Budget that is transparent and accountable.
“In recent weeks, my Assembly Minority colleagues and I have worked with the governor in helping restore voter confidence in the way Albany operates by passing budget reforms, reaching an agreement on ethics and lobbying reforms, and bringing greater transparency to the “member-item” process. However, more needs to be done. I urge the governor to further build on our successes in reforming government by bringing more transparency and accountability to the process.”
Reilich noted that there were at least 50 “slush funds,” totaling $3.4 billion, dating back to the 2000-2001 State Budget. The funds were listed as lump-sum allocations without specific projects or legislators identified. He believes that this type of discretionary funding should be eliminated from the budget. The money saved can be used to help lower taxes.
“We need to put an end to a system that allows billions of taxpayer dollars to be spent without proper legislative oversight. Such a system encourages waste, fraud and shady dealings,” said Reilich.
The slush funds total nearly $3.4 billion, dwarfing the state’s $200 million in member-item funding.
“I am calling on Governor Spitzer to eliminate lump-sum allocations from his Executive Budget,” said Reilich. “To restore the people’s confidence in Albany we need a more accountable and transparent system.”
Governor Spitzer is scheduled to release his Executive Budget on January 31.