The State Assembly’s Republican Caucus leader James Tedisco (pictured) is calling attention to 50 "secret slush funds" his office has found in various state budgets dating back as far as the 2000-2001 legislative calendar. While most are focusing on the $200 million in member items, or "pork," lawmakers get to dole out each year, Tedisco noted that these 50 other funds amount to $3.4 billion in unwatched spending, and is calling on Governor Eliot Spitzer to remove them from this year’s budget.
"We’re about to see if we’re truly entering the age of transparency and accountability or whether we are going to play this game of ‘peek-a-boo’," said Tedisco, who further noted that the grants are listed as lump sum allocations without specific projects or Assembly members attached to them, and that no members of his conference benefited from the bounty.
"The current method, as we witnessed with the member items, opens the door to waste, fraud and corruption. We need greater transparency, accountability and fairness. Currently there is none," added Tedisco.