It is a particularly gratifying moment for me and for all of my colleagues, because we have been leading the way on public authorities reform and have invested a lot of time and effort to bring New York to this important day.
I can think back to 2003 when we began a two-year investigation into the management - or should I say the "mismanagement" of many of some of our public authorities. What we found was that a lot of these entities were taking on an extraordinary amount of debt, were burning through their funds, and were straying from their intended missions.
To remedy the situation, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky introduced and the Assembly passed the Public Authority Accountability Act of 2005, which was an important step toward improving the operation and oversight of our public authorities. We knew additional action would be needed.
The legislation that the governor will sign into law in a few moments also had its origins in the Assembly and was developed and refined through the open and public committee process, which included a number of public hearings.
At this point, let me congratulate the Chair of the Corporations Committee, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who has led this fight to reform our public authorities for a number of years.
Let me acknowledge the many members of the Assembly who joined with Assemblyman Richard Brodsky on this fight, but who could not be here with us today. They sought, very correctly, to shed light on what was our so called our "shadow government". Thanks to all of their hard work, this afternoon the governor will sign into law a bill that will among a variety of measures:
Expand the authority of the independent budget office and ensure it will be truly independent;
Ensure proper oversight of public authority property when it is being sold below fair market value;
And gives the State Comptroller the important approval process over many of the public authority contracts.
Thank you Ira, for the time you volunteered in that regard.
Yesterday, as you know, we enacted historic pension reform that will save taxpayers millions of dollars over the next decades.
Today we are making our public authorities more accountable and fiscally responsible.
In the future, I expect that the Governor will sign into law another Assembly initiative to reduce costs by reforming the way the state procures information technologies.
We are saving money. We are making improvements to the way we spend money into the future. We are reforming government and looking forward to continuing to work with the Governor and with our colleagues in the Senate.
Congratulations Governor, on another job well done.