The state Dormitory Authority has borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars to build college dormitories and state office buildings around the state. Its staff is expert in construction management and financing.
Cuomo's budget amendments, released Wednesday, include changes that would empower the authority to "enter into a lease, sublease or other agreement with the state of New York or a public corporation therein." That would cover villages, towns, cities and counties as well as local development agencies and special districts such as those served by volunteer fire departments.
Richard Brodsky is a former Democratic assemblyman who wrote laws that have sought in recent years to bring greater transparency to public authorities that borrowed and spent hundreds of millions of dollars outside of the Legislature's control. He says Cuomo's budget amendments run "exactly counter" to those efforts.
"Generally speaking, these authorities need more oversight by the Legislature and comptroller, all of which seems to be under siege in this budget presentation. I think it's a mistake," Brodsky said.