A review of the New York State budget shows a vast array of unnecessary, redundant and wasteful programs. A prime example is corporate welfare, cloaked in the politically pleasant term "economic development," often abused with eminent domain.
State agencies to be eliminated:
Warren proposes to end spending on "economic development." Government efforts to promote business have a poor history and rarely produce benefits to make up for their costs. Real economic development would be best improved by eliminating this spending and lowering taxes. This includes ending the Environmental Facilities Corporation, New York State Stem Cell and Innovation Fund Corporation, and spending on the World Trade Center redevelopment.
The bonds were paid off in the 1990s. It is long past time to close down the Thruway Authority and get rid of the tolls. Its functions would be handled by DoT. The Thruway is a small portion of the total state highways, and its maintenance can be easily absorbed by DoT. Removing the tolls would have environmental and safety benefits as well.
DHR serves a nearly identical function to the federal EEOC. As such it is redundant and can be eliminated.
Per its website, OPDV's main functions are: (1) Advise the Governor; (2) Provide training; and (3) Serve as a Resource. These functions are all unnecessary. Actual work on prevention of domestic violence occurs in the field at the county and local level.
- Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence
As for its #1 mission, OPDV failed. Governor Paterson's biggest moment in Domestic Violence came when he tampered with a witness. Either he got bad advice or he didn't listen.
SCOC's website says it all: "The Commission of Correction is a three member deliberative body, which meets monthly to discuss variances, maximum facility capacities, proposed changes in regulations, mortality investigations, and other matters that may arise." It's amazing that this costs $3 million in taxpayer money for three people to talk once a month.
CVB has a $77M budget, out of which $27M gets distributed to crime victims. This is horrendously inefficient. Victim compensation would be handled better at the local level. The average compensation is approximately $2700. While the purpose is noble, CVB does not deliver effectively.
The OHS mission is to "direct and coordinate." In other words, it doesn't actually do anything. Warren would designate the State Police as the lead agency for dealing with terrorism and other hazards.
- Office of Homeland Security
Two of the three commissions, Nomination and Screening, are unnecessary and should be eliminated. The Commission on Judicial Conduct should be merged into another state entity + most likely within OCA.
The state should not be in the gambling business.
- Division of Lottery and the Racing & Wagering Board
"Our mission is to insure compliance with the ethical standards that public officials and lobbyists must observe in order to ensure public trust and confidence in government." In light of the many recent incidents, such as Hevesi, Spitzer, Monserrate, Espada and Bruno, it is obvious that this agency is not accomplishing its mission.
- Commission on Public Integrity
"CIO/OFT ... provides statewide technology direction and centralized technology policies and services to other New York State government entities." Parochial state agencies do not follow OFT's direction and the services that it provides are readily available in the private sector. OFT is unnecessary. Of the 774 employees, 70 make over $100K.
Update on OFT: For 2009 the employee count mysteriously dropped to 692. 192 of them, or more than a quarter, make over $80K. Half the employees make over $65K. Total payroll is $45 Million.
With 284 employees (assuming they're not hiding anyone), total payroll was $19.2 Million in 2009. That averages out to $67K. The average employee makes $67K?
But that's not the best part. This is + job titles.
Assistant Project Coordinators: 5
Assistant Project Managers: 25
Associate Project Managers: 19
25 letters left in the alphabet.
Finance Aides: 5
Information Technology Administrators: 5
Office Administrators: 8
Office Managers: 9
This is where it starts to get interesting.
Program Managers: 23
Project Coordinators: 24
Project Managers: 40
40 project managers? This would be a cruel joke if we weren't paying for it.
Senior Office Administrators: 9
Senior Project Managers: 37
We were blown away by the 40 project managers, and now it turns out there are 37 senior ones?
Of the NYSERDA employees, 150, or more than half, are project managers or coordinators. That doesn't include the 55 directors, program managers, office managers and office administrators.
Who do all these people direct, manage and/or coordinate?
Here's our favorite: