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A member item is a portion of state funding allocated by the Senate and Assembly. Constitutional standards require that all member items be used for a public purpose. The annual member-item allocation is divided among the two houses of the New York State Legislature pursuant to agreement with the governor. Member item allocations are discretionary. Typically, the funds are used for community projects, civic, and public health initiatives in the recipient members’ districts. Programs such as little leagues, community centers, and legal assistance all receive funding through member items. Member items traditionally represent tens of millions of dollars of spending in each year’s state budget. As a result of recent litigation and legislation passed in early 2007 reform, many aspects of the state budget process require that member items must be publicly disclosed and itemized.

For the first time, NYOpenGovernment allows the public to easily search member item allocations. NYOpenGovernment allows member items to be viewed by county or by individual Elected Official. NYOpenGovernment also allows the public to review a summary of the public purpose that the member item is funding. Our goal is to shed light on these programs and allow you to see how tax dollars are being spent in your area.

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