Thomas DiNapoli


Wed June 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

DiNapoli trying to reduce account of unclaimed funds

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York’s Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is trying to whittle down a fund of abandoned or unclaimed money owed to both individuals and municipalities.

DiNapoli’s office says there are more than 31 million accounts in the state with money sitting in them. It can be a utility deposit or old bank account that sat unused too long and was turned over to the state.

About 10,000 of those unclaimed funds belong to towns and cities throughout the state, worth more than $5 million.

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Tue June 3, 2014

DiNapoli urges New Yorkers to take advantage of state college saving plans

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is urging New Yorkers to invest in a 529 College Saving Program, which helps families save money for college tuition. DiNapoli says parents, grandparents and others can open an account for a child, and receive tax credits of up to $10,000 annually for their contributions.

More than 800,000 529 College Saving Program accounts have been set up in New York, but DiNapoli says many more could take advantage of the program.

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Thu May 22, 2014
Politics and Government

Schneiderman, DiNapoli earn Democratic Party nod for fall races

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli poses with a supporter during the Democratic Party convention.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was nominated for a second term at the Democratic Party convention on Long Island Wednesday.

Schneiderman touted his record, which he says includes getting back pay owed to fast food workers, cracking down on opioid and heroin abuse, and convincing gun show operators to voluntarily close legal loopholes and require background checks for purchases.

“It all is summed up in the notion of equal justice under law,” Schneiderman said.  

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Wed May 21, 2014
Performing Arts and Culture

New York Democratic Convention to nominate incumbents, announce Lt. Gov. candidate

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be nominated to run for a second term as governor Thursday.

Before the happens, two other incumbents will be endorsed for a second full term; State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The only surprise expected at the convention is the announcement of Cuomo's running mate. Several names have been mentioned to replace Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who has opted not to seek a second term.

The governor and his aides have been keeping that name close to the vest. They're expected to reveal their choice later Wednesday.

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Thu May 15, 2014

DiNapoli says he's doing more than other comptrollers to fight graft

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli at a rally with the SEIU union in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York's top fiscal watchdog says he has been directly involved in fighting political corruption in the state. His opponent for state comptroller in November's election says otherwise.

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Mon May 12, 2014
Politics and Government

Public campaign finance showing signs of life

Gov. Cuomo is facing pressure to revive an issue that failed in state budget negotiations -- enacting a public campaign financing system for statewide elections.

In the final budget deal, Cuomo agreed with legislative leaders to a pared-down public campaign finance system that would apply only to the state comptroller’s race, and sunset after this year.

The governor was immediately condemned by government reform groups who said the pilot program was cynically designed to fail. But Cuomo defended the deal, saying advocates were looking at the glass half empty.

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Thu May 8, 2014

Onondaga County's Bob Antonacci running for NY comptroller

Onondaga County Republican Comptroller Bob Antonocci.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Onondaga County’s top financial officer will challenge his state-wide counterpart in the November election. Bob Antonacci says he can use the comptroller post to turn around New York.

Antonacci, the Republican Onondaga County comptroller, is a lawyer and certified public accountant. He says his background on the county level has prepared him for Albany.

He was asked last week by state GOP officials to challenge Democrat Thomas DiNapoli.

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Tue May 6, 2014
Financial Stress

Your town or school's fiscal stress score, mapped

How stressed out is the checkbook in your hometown or school district? The New York comptroller's office recently finished scoring nearly 2,300 governments and school districts and tabulated their fiscal stress levels.

There are 142 municipalities in some level of fiscal stress, according to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The comptroller says the percentage score, with 100 percent being as stressed out as a municipality can get, is an "early warning system."

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Tue April 8, 2014
Politics and Government

Comptroller opts out of public campaign finance pilot, says program is flawed

The state’s comptroller says he won’t be participating in a new pilot public campaign finance program agreed to in the state budget, and government reform groups say they don’t blame him.

Saying he won’t be a “convenient sacrificial lamb,” state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he won’t opt in to a test system for public campaign finance that applies only to his office, and would use money from the comptroller’s unclaimed funds to pay for it.  

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Tue April 1, 2014
Politics and Government

State lawmakers pass budget before deadline

The New York state Assembly voted to approve the state's budget last night, along with the Senate.
-JvL- Flickr

Lawmakers hurried to complete work on the state budget before the midnight deadline, but the spending plan is not without some controversy.

Legislators held a marathon voting session on several budget bills, in an attempt to beat the April 1 deadline. Some of the legislation was not technically printed until the wee hours of Saturday morning, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent an emergency message to waive the three day waiting period required by law.

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Mon March 31, 2014

Comptroller says public financing plan has serious flaws

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the public financing plan in the budget has serious flaws.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state’s top accountant says a test public campaign finance plan that would apply only to his office is seriously flawed, and might even be unworkable. 

The budget provision, which first surfaced late Friday, would enact a pilot public campaign finance program limited to the comptroller’s office.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a long time supporter of public finance, says this plan comes too late in the election cycle, and relies on the State Board of Elections, a board widely viewed as incompetent, to set up the program.

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Mon February 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

State comptroller says highway fund mostly used for state debt, operating costs

A recent report from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office found that most of the state's highway an bridge trust fund is being used for other things.
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says last fiscal year, less than a quarter of the state's dedicated highway and bridge trust fund was used to pay for infrastructure maintenance. He says the rest of the money was spent on state debt payments and other operating costs.

Republican Sen. Joe Griffo, who represents Utica, Rome and Massena, is one of several state lawmakers supporting the BRIDGE Act, which would require that funds added to the account are used only for infrastructure projects.

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Mon February 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Is Cuomo's budget surplus for real?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been taking credit for a $2 billion budget surplus in his new spending plan. But critics say that claim is not entirely accurate because the windfall does not actually materialize for another two years, and only if certain conditions are met.

Cuomo is fond of comparing the differences in the state’s finances since taking office three years ago.

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Tue January 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

Comptroller reports state spent record amount on overtime

Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York's state comptroller says the Cuomo administration racked up a record $611 million in overtime payments over the past year.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the 16 percent increase in overtime payments between 2012 and 2013 comes mostly from employees in institutional settings, like prisons and psychiatric centers. The state police also paid troopers $35 million in overtime payments, at an average of over $74 an hour.  

DiNapoli says the uptick comes at a time when state government has been downsizing employees.

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Fri December 20, 2013
Politics and Government

Comptroller says state probably can afford tax cuts, but just barely

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he’ll need to see more details and end of the calendar year state revenue figures before deciding whether the state can afford $2 billion in new tax cuts that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is likely to propose.

Governor Cuomo says he thinks if state spending is held to a 2 percent growth rate next year, there will be enough money in the state budget to finance $2 billion worth of property and business tax cuts.

Comptroller DiNapoli says he’s not so sure it will all add up.

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Fri December 20, 2013
Politics and Government

State comptroller's audit finds double dipping at state agencies

N.Y. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A new audit by the state comptroller finds that out of a sample of state workers at New York agencies and authorities, more than one fifth were double dipping, being paid for two jobs while only doing one.

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Mon November 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Despite projected budget gap, Cuomo seeking tax cuts

401(K) 2012 Flickr

Now that the elections are over, state budget deadlines are rapidly approaching. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released a largely positive budget outlook for the new year, though he warns of some uncertainties.

Under reforms adopted a few years ago, state officials including the  comptroller, are required to start the budget process, which ends in late March, even earlier.

DiNapoli is out with his report, and he says the state budget is largely in balance.

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Thu October 24, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Off the rolls: 27% of land in New York is tax exempt

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, left, talks with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

More than a quarter of all property in New York state is off the tax rolls, according to figures compiled by the state comptroller, who said it's a burden on local finances.

The 27 percent of un-taxed land in the state adds up to $680 billion in property value not being collected on, which is mostly concentrated in urban areas. The city with the most property off-limits is Rensselaer, with 65 percent.

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Wed October 23, 2013
Politics and Government

Report shows DC dysfunction may decrease Wall Street profits

A report by the state’s comptroller finds that the dysfunction in Washington may take a bite out of Wall Street profits for the remainder of this year.

The analysis by New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli finds the recent gridlock in Congress, higher interest rates, and the JP Morgan $13 billion settlement over bad mortgages is contributing to lower earnings and profits for New York’s financial industry.

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Wed September 18, 2013
The Upstate Economy

DiNapoli wants to invest into more NY-based companies

The state comptroller says he’s looking for more start up companies and entrepreneurs to invest in, as part of a partnership between the state’s pension fund and private equity managers.

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Tue August 27, 2013
Regional Coverage

DiNapoli discusses upcoming pension rate numbers, impact on municipalities

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

The New York state comptroller's office this week comes out with some numbers of great interest to local governments. Pension rates are one of the reasons many local governments, including the city of Syracuse, say they are in financial peril.

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Fri July 26, 2013
Politics and Government

Comptroller DiNapoli: We can't let NY cities go bankrupt like Detroit

The city of Detroit’s declaration of bankruptcy has left some in New York wondering whether any upstate cities will be next. State officials say they are trying to help with financial planning guidance, but local governments say more needs to be done.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has created a fiscal stress monitoring system that measures the financial health of New York’s local governments. A preliminary report found two dozen cities, counties and villages are moderately to severely fiscally stressed.

DiNapoli say he hopes they can avoid the fate of Detroit.

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Tue July 23, 2013

Comptroller DiNapoli: I can work with Spitzer if he wins

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says he thinks he can work with Eliot Spitzer, should the former governor win the post of New York City comptroller, even though he is supporting his opponent in the contest.

DiNapoli says his endorsement of former Assemblyman and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer still stands.

“I can work with just about anybody,” DiNapoli said.

Though he qualified that assessment, saying he’ll have to see “how that plays out.”

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Tue July 23, 2013
Politics and Government

DiNapoli calls for changes to federal government rules for same sex couples

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is trying to use the power of the pension fund to increase equal rights for same sex married couples, and has written a letter to President Obama.

DiNapoli is asking Obama to add a “place of celebration” clause to federal government rules and regulations that define benefits for married couples. He says that way, if one member of the couple works for a federal government agency or program, same sex marriages performed in New York and other states where it is legal could be recognized in states that do not allow gay marriages.

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Thu June 13, 2013
Regional Coverage

Comptroller DiNapoli: Watertown in good fiscal health

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discusses Watertown's fiscal health and his office's new financial "stress test" program Wednesday in Watertown.
Credit Joanna Richards

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli came to Watertown on Wednesday to commend the city's leadership on its sound financial stewardship. DiNapoli's office is rolling out a program of annual fiscal “stress tests” for municipalities and school districts. And the comptroller said Watertown sets an example for prudent financial planning. 

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Thu May 30, 2013
Politics and Government

Hundreds rally for stalled public campaign finance bill

Fair elections rally at the Capitol in Albany Wednesday
Karen DeWitt/WRVO

Hundreds gathered at the state Capitol to rally for public financing of political campaigns. The measure remains in limbo in the state Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces questions on whether he’s working hard enough for the proposal to pass.

They came in buses from all over New York to give state lawmakers their message -- big money is corrupting politics. They say the state should adopt New York City’s public campaign finance system, which allows candidates to match every dollar they collect in small donations with seven dollars of government funds.

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Wed May 8, 2013

IDAs need to be more transparent, accountable, says comptroller

New York State Comptroller's Office

The New York state comptroller’s office has released its annual report on New York’s 113 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), with concerns raised about the effectiveness and transparency of the organizations.

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Tue April 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Comptroller warns local governments that fixing fiscal crises won't be easy

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks with reporters after an address at SUNY's Rockefeller Institute on the financial plight of local governments
Credit Karen DeWitt/NY State Public Radio

New York state’s comptroller kicked off a week long forum at SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute to examine the plight of economically stressed local governments and school districts across the state. 

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Fri March 29, 2013
Regional Coverage

State pension funds invests in central New York business

Money from a state pension fund is flooding into an Auburn company that manufactures, distributes and services electrical products. It's one way the state is trying to encourage economic growth in upstate New York.

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Mon February 25, 2013
Politics and Government

Budget watchdog group urges rejection of Cuomo's pension bailout plan

A leading budget watchdog group is urging rejection of a key component of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget plan. It would allow cities and schools to put off some payments to their pension funds.

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