Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state budget proposal released this week contains a couple of initiatives regarding economic development that good-government groups have been seeking for years.
The first spending plan of the Democrat’s third term includes proposals to boost procurement regulations for oversight of certain state contracts and create a searchable online database of projects receiving funding from the Cuomo administration’s economic development agencies.
The proposals follow last year’s convictions of former top aide Joseph Percoco, and Cuomo’s own “economic guru” Alain Kaloyeros, on corruption charges stemming from upstate development projects. Government watchdog groups say the cases show the need for better oversight of the billions doled out each year in corporate tax breaks and business grants.
Increasing oversight of economic development deals is supported by the state Senate and Assembly, both controlled by Democrats.