Assemblyman Ramos: Assembly Passes Package to Increase Oversight of Public Authorities
Legislation shines light on authority business practices, spending
July 11, 2003
Before the close of session, the Assembly passed a package of legislation aimed at ending abuses of the public trust by state authorities and public benefit corporations. This package of legislation helps ensure the choices public authorities make are closely scrutinized. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s illegal fare hike proved the dire need for change. Our working families are paying for the public deception that led to the MTA’s fare hike. This package is the first step toward ensuring Long Islanders are not kept in the dark. They will know the decisions affecting their quality of life and their wallets. The first piece of legislation I sponsored would help increase New Yorkers’ confidence in MTA operations, provide independent oversight of the MTA, improve the contracting process, and end unjustified fare increases (A.7998-D). My legislation creates an oversight board and establishes an independent budget office. The MTA would be required to provide timely reports of operating plans to both bodies for review and comment. In addition, my legislation would:
- Increase the independence of the MTA Inspector General (IG) by having the Attorney General appoint the IG;
- Require more public hearings prior to major service changes;
- Mandate a biennial report on the potential for a future rate increase; and
- Require the MTA to produce annual reports on the safety and health of MTA passengers and employees.