Posted by on February 29, 2016

RELEASED: February 24, 2016

Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport) is skeptical that a new state corporation designed to optimize and streamline big-ticket capital projects will generate new efficiencies.

The governor’s budget proposal seeks to create an offshoot of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) called the New York State Design and Construction Corp. It would exclusively manage public construction projects with price tags topping $50 million.

Finch noted that the corporation would be managed by three board members hand-picked by the governor. Finch is also concerned about the sweeping powers that the corporation would wield over critical projects.

“In his budget analysis, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli raised a real red flag here,” said Finch. “Why should a state authority have the power to void previously negotiated, good-faith contracts? What kind of message does that send to contractors?”

Finch says this move is emblematic of the governor’s shortcomings regarding economic development.

“Personally, I’ve never heard a contractor say, ‘The state made it very easy for me to complete this job. I just wish there were more agencies to coordinate with. I don’t think I heard from enough bureaucrats,’” said Finch. “Why is DASNY unable to handle contracts of this size? We should be trying to solve problems using the resources we have before we just create new authorities out of thin air.”

Finch also has ethical misgivings about the authority. He questioned whether such an entity would help restore the public trust after a year rife with scandal and public corruption.

“You have to question how this looks,” said Finch. “For only the biggest capital projects worth millions and millions of dollars, the governor’s hand-picked appointees can choose favored contractors, void previously negotiated contracts, and freely use eminent domain? One wonders if the vetting process for these contractors will gauge their willingness to deliver campaign contributions.”

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