By Kevin Czerwinski, Office of Assemblywoman Amy Paulin
Oct. 11. 2017: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) has been appointed chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions.
The Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions (CAC) has jurisdiction over the laws concerning private, not-for-profit, and public corporations in New York State.
Paulin, who had served as the chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Energy Committee since 2013, will begin working in her new role immediately.
"I am thrilled with this appointment and I look forward to working on this very important committee," Paulin said. "I am grateful for the time I spent as the energy committee chair. I learned so much and worked with so many wonderful people. That experience will be beneficial as I continue working on issues related to utilities and the public service commission in my new role.
"I will also have the opportunity to work on critically important issues related to the MTA. Millions of New Yorkers rely on the MTA, including many of my constituents who utilize Metro-North for their commutes, and I will work to ensure that it is fiscally stable so that those vital services continue."
Much of the CAC's focus is on the organizational framework and activities of the state's public corporations, largely referred to as public authorities. Public authorities are created in state law, operate at the state and local government level, and provide services such as mass transit, infrastructure building, power generation, and construction services. While these entities perform vital public services, it is imperative that they act with transparency and are held accountable through public oversight. Consequently, the committee devotes significant time to considering legislation that promotes accountability and holding public oversight hearings of public authorities.
The committee reviews funding for transportation authorities and works to ensure that funds are appropriated wisely during the annual state budget process. New York has a mass transit system in nearly every major population center across the state with a public authority operating most of these systems. The committee has a particular interest in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which runs the largest mass transit system in the nation and has extensive capital requirements.
Additionally, the committee monitors the operations and policies of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) and considers legislation that amends Public Service Law. The commission's five commissioners and the Department of Public Service are required by Public Service Law to ensure that customers of investor-owned electric, gas, telephone, water, and cable utilities in the state provide adequate service at reasonable rates. The committee takes an active role in protecting consumers and reports significant legislation that modernizes and amends Public Service Law.
Finally, the committee also examines legislation affecting the governance of for-profit and not-for-profit corporations in the state. This includes the cemetery corporations, which are special types of not-for-profit corporations, which is under the purview of the committee and performs a vital public service for the state. Through legislation, the committee ensures laws affecting corporations remain up to date and serve the public interest.
Pictured here: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
Photo courtesy Office of Amy Paulin