Cuomo reviews legislators' pork barrel spending

By Chris Rizo | Apr 29, 2008

Andrew Cuomo

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline)-New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday his office has rejected 1,026 of the 6,500 special discretionary grants approved by the governor and the state Legislature last year.

Speaking at Common Cause's government "Reform Day" event, Cuomo said in all his office has reviewed 3,785 so-called member requests and has approved 2,756 of them.

The attorney general reviews the requests, by which lawmakers bring
home the bacon to their districts, under a policy instituted last year.

As a part of his initiative, Cuomo requires recipients of members' items to sign sworn statements disclosing any personal or professional ties to the sponsoring legislator and explaining how the money will serve the general public.

"I think we brought review and scrutiny to the program that hasn't existed before," Cuomo was quoted as saying. "And I think people are looking at those certifications and thinking twice before they sign them- as they should."

He said about 42 percent of the line items were rejected for such reasons as the recipient nonprofit was not registered with the state Charities Bureau and because the proposed grant would go to pay general operating expenses.

He said the attorney general's office is awaiting 2,700 additional member requests from lawmakers.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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