Public authority reform in New York appeared to be dead yesterday, at least in the current legislative session which extended by one day in both chambers. At press time yesterday many legislative issues were unresolved.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Westchester, blamed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the authority reform effort stalling.
"The bill is in trouble and the reason is the mayor's intervention," Brodsky said. Brodsky, who is chairman of the Assembly committee on authorities and corporations, said that the mayor had tried to "sabotage" reform.
Bloomberg spokesman Farrell Sklerov said that the mayor's office was generally in favor of reform but disagreed with some provisions Brodsky was seeking such as an independent fiduciary responsibility for board members.
Errol Cockfield, spokesman for Gov. David Paterson, declined to comment on the issue.
While the Senate was not planning to return to session today, the Assembly was expected to do so.
The Senate majority conference was planning to meet last night to discuss the leadership of the chamber following the announcement Monday night that Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, would not be seeking reelection this fall. It was not clear yesterday whether Bruno, the most powerful Republican in the state, would step down or would stay on in his leadership role until the end of his term.
It appeared yesterday that a compromise would not be in place yesterday to allow the state's industrial development agencies to resume selling bonds for civic facilities on behalf of nonprofits. A bill that would have made it easier for municipalities to do tax increment financing also appeared to be stalled after the Assembly amended a bill that had already passed the Senate.
A bill that would give Erie County the ability to sell bonds without permission of the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority so long as it has two investment grade ratings, had passed the Senate and the Assembly appeared to be ready to take it up last night.