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Broome County May Hire Lobbyist

Broome County may hire a lobbying firm to help it advocate for its interests in Albany.
Broome County may hire a lobbying firm to help it advocate for its interests in Albany.

The county recently put out a request for proposal for state government relations firms that are interested in representing it. Proposals have come back and they will be reviewed in the coming weeks.

Deputy Broome County Executive Bijoy Datta says both Republican and Democrat administrations have used firms in the past.

No decision has been made yet on whether one should be hired, but he says it may make sense to have someone working to secure grants and other funding sources for the county.

"It's not uncommon. I think a lot of other municipalities, public universities, public schools have operated in the same way. We thought it was worth going out to request for proposals to see what's out there and see how we might benefit the taxpayers," said Datta.

The Broome County Legislature's Democratic Minority Leader Dan Reynolds says typical lobbying efforts are more targeted and there is a definitive length of time they would last. That's not the case for this proposal.

"We're taking taxpayer funds and we're hiring some company to just make arguments for us. I don't know. I looked at the RFP and I really don't know what it's for. It seems like it's squandering dollars," said Reynolds.

If a company is selected after reviewing the proposals, the idea would go to the legislature for consideration, if it's for more than $15,000.
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