Assembly Requiring Proof for Albany Travel Expenses

ALBANY (AP) -

The New York Assembly issued policy guidance Wednesday intended to ensure lawmakers are actually in Albany when they claim travel expenses.

The guidance, effective Saturday, followed new requirements enacted in the budget for the fiscal year that began in April that were prompted in part by a recent scandal.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the new policy to verify his 150 members’ presence in Albany can be met with electronic records of committee votes or presence in the Assembly session, a swipe card machine installed in the Legislative Office Building, toll records or dated hotel and restaurant receipts.

Last week, Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough admitted he submitted $40,000 in false expense vouchers. In a letter of apology, he said he took advantage of a system where legislators were reimbursed when they said they were in Albany “basically with no questions asked.”