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Politics

"Member item" coffers in Albany run dry

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WOAW - the world of animal welfare
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There's a lot less pork to hand out in Albany these days.

Member items are drying up in Albany, leaving many organizations that once relied on them cash-strapped, reports Teri Weaver at the Post-Standard:

Critics decried the spending as haphazard and uneven, with individual lawmakers winning favor by showering grant money without competition and state leaders promoting pet projects with little evidence of success. This year, those spigots have run dry, and not because of any great reform. The state, simply, has run out of spending money for communities throughout New York, including Syracuse. “Everybody is screaming, ‘Where’s the money?’” said Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, D-Syracuse, shortly after the $132.5 billion budget passed late last month. “I had people who don’t believe it. ‘There’s got to be a pot somewhere.’ There isn’t.”

Federal budget

Eric Jaffe at Infrastructurist notes that the budget passed by Congress doesn't just cut high-speed rail - it slashes it out of the budget entirely.

And Erica Naone reports at MIT's Technology Review that Data.gov, the open government website created by the Obama administration, also comes in for potential cuts in the federal budget:

[The Centre for Intellecutal Property and Information Law's Rufus] Pollock says what's most concerning about cutting the Electronic Government Fund is that it represents a turn away from Obama's open-government policies. "The website is really great, but the crucial thing is the actual data," he says. Though data.gov is a symbol whose loss would be painful, the real question is whether the U.S. government will continue to make its data more accessible and useful, with or without it.

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