New York has nearly $2 billion pot for ‘pork barrel’ spending


New York’s lawmakers are tapping into a fat fund for “pork barrel” projects in their home districts.

Gov. Cuomo has allocated $1.9 billion in his proposed budget for the “State and Municipal Facilities Program,” which critics have called a “slush fund.”

From July through October of 2020, the authority disbursed 159 grants totaling more than $45 million from the fund in last year’s budget, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy.

“Call it whatever you want, this is just the latest iteration of government pork. The whole program should be scrapped,” said Tim Hoefer, the Empire Center’s president.

Among the grants given out last year, according to the Empire Center, were:

  • $300,000 for a “cheerleading team room” in a Levittown school.
  • $69,500 to restore a sand dune in Asharoken on Long Island.
  • $1.9 million for “signage improvements” at the Bronx Children’s Museum.
  • $1 million for the Hebrew Academy for Special Children in Brooklyn
  • $340,000 for a CUNY “composting education center”
  • $250,000 to construct a “comfort station” at Pascone Park in Westchester
  • $700,000 for a new “splash pad” in Glen Meadows Park upstate
  • $1 million for exhibits at the Italian American Museum in Queens
  • $125,000 for “stage curtains and lighting” in the Herricks school district on LI

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