Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Senate Indys on Inspector General

The Senate Independent Democratic Conference held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to announce a plan to streamline the state's Inspector General system of operation and save taxpayers millions of dollars.
Sen. David Valesky, D-Cuse, said their report addressed the possibility of saving money by eliminating redundancies in the Inspector's office without limiting their ability to perform their job. He estimated that their recommendations will save tens of millions of dollars.
Sen. Jeff Klein chimed in that one plan would be to remove the exemption that prevents the Inspector General from investigating agencies that already have an inspection unit. He added that another measure would be the creation of a dedicated MTA Oversight Unit within the State Inspector General’s Office. Klein noted that former Inspector General Fisch had previously stated that he would investigate the MTA if he had the statutory authority to do so.
Sen. David Carlucci said that the MTA is a multi-billion dollar agency, which means it is important to ensure its money is wisely spent.
Senator Diane Savino stated that their plan for consolidation could save a combined $37 million.
During questions, the conference ducked questions about the millionaire's tax, but Klein said he supports the tax and wants the funds used toward property tax relief. Savino also said she supported an extension of the tax. She stated that she supports extension of the tax and sees it as a matter of fairness.
Senator Valesky waffled on the question and waxed on about right sizing and tough decisions.

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