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February 12, 2009

DiNapoli: Stimulus Package is Not a Bail Out

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said the federal stimulus should not be used as a bail out for the state’s fiscal crisis. He said the state must find long-term solutions to align spending with revenues and the governor and the legislature still face difficult choices to restore fiscal integrity.

To ensure effective use of federal stimulus money, DiNapoli announced his office will make information public on how New York spends federal stimulus money on Open Book New York will allow the public to see the contracts awarded and the companies receiving the contracts. DiNapoli said his office was already in contact with the State Division of the Budget to ensure that there is a clear audit trail of the federal stimulus money.

“The federal stimulus will provide New York with an extraordinary opportunity and a difficult challenge,” DiNapoli said. “The opportunity is to move the state’s economy forward. The challenge is not to blow it. The state must not – cannot – view the economic stimulus package as simply a bail out for this year’s fiscal crisis.

“Doing things the same way we always have, making short term-budget decisions without considering long-term spending impacts, will only delay our state’s return to fiscal strength, and there won’t be another stimulus package to help us out. The public deserves and demands accountability. New York has to make every economic stimulus dime count. We’ll make it easy for the public to track those dimes on Open Book New York.”

DiNapoli’s Open Book New York ( Web site contains searchable databases of more than 60,000 active state contracts and spending for more than 100 state agencies and 3,100 local governments.

DiNapoli said he has designated staff to conduct in-depth, expedited reviews and audits of contracts involving federal stimulus money to ensure that money is spent appropriately and all federal criteria for spending federal stimulus money are met.


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