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Tedisco: more oversight of authorities needed

ALBANY -- A recent report by the New York State Comptroller's Office shows $7 billion in salaries and bonuses paid out to workers of the state's 324 authorities.

The report released Thursday showed the average salary of an authority worker to be $66,940 with 13% of the workforce earning more than $100,000.

New York State authorities operate independently of the state legislature and governor's office however their leadership is often appointed by state lawmakers. Much of their revenue comes from state residents in the form of fees, taxes or tolls, said Deputy Comptroller Robert Ward.

"What controller DiNapoli believes is we need to be more transparent about what is happening with our state authorities and this report is one step in that direction." said Ward.

Assemblyman James Tedisco, R- Glenville, sits on the Committees, Commissions, and Task Forces Assembly Committee however he says the heads of the authorities "very rarely" come to hearings and show progress reports.

There are two pieces of legislation Tedisco is pushing, one would force the Thruway Authority to seek permission from the state legislature to raise tolls. The other bill would force any authority to ask permission from, state taxpayers via a referendum, to borrow more money that creates more debt.

"Clearly we've been talking about oversight but now we got to walk the walk," said Tedisco. "I think maybe with the Comptroller's report we should give more oversight to elected officials or to the public."
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