New York (State). Legislature. Assembly. Office of Legislative Oversight and Analysis

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The Assembly Office of Legislative Oversight and Analysis assisted the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions in investigating waste and extravagance in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The Authority was formed in 1924 and has responsibility for operating transportation and trade facilities in the New York City area including airports, bridges and tunnels, a commuter rail system, bus terminals, shipping terminals, and the World Trade Center. The Committee investigated the Authority's misuse of foreign travel expenses, use of helicopters for personal use, fiscal irregularities in the construction and operation of the World Trade Center, and other questionable uses of public funds. This Committee alleged a widespread pattern of waste throughout the Authority's operation. The investigation helped bring about a wholesale change in the Authority's management in 1977.

From the description of Investigation files relating to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 1973-1979, bulk 1977. (New York State Archives). WorldCat record id: 80655382

A New York State law took effect on April 1, 1978 allowing a consumer, with the consent of a physician, to substitute a less expensive generic drug for a brand name drug originally prescribed.

This drug substitution law (Laws of 1977, Chapter 776) came about after years of complaints by consumers about the high cost of brand name drugs and the desire to have the advantages of lower priced generic substitutions. The law was passed over the opposition of a highly organized pharmaceutical industry lobby. It is credited with saving millions of dollars for New Yorkers since 1978.

From the description of Generic drug investigation files, 1963-1979, bulk 1977. (New York State Archives). WorldCat record id: 79946581

This Office investigated and prepared special reports for various Assembly committees. The Office was responsible to Speaker of the Assembly, Stanley Steingut. It was in operation from 1975 to 1978.

The Office was headed by William Haddad and was commonly called the Haddad Committee. Among reports prepared by the Office were those on the New York State Lottery (1975), banks and the New York City financial crisis (1976), and the safety of generic drugs (1977).

From the description of Assembly Office of Legislative Oversight and Analysis Sub-agency history record. (New York State Archives). WorldCat record id: 82605679

Since its establishment in 1948, Arab countries have maintained an economic boycott of the State of Israel and have attempted to persuade its trading partners to participate in the boycott. This boycott was not highly effective until 1973 when Arab counties raised oil prices and Arab income and influence increased.

By the mid-1970's, Arab countries had complied a blacklist of over 1500 companies and individuals who had invested in or contributed to the economy or defense of Israel. Included on the blacklist were companies that merely had Jewish employees or stockholders. In order for a company to do business with Arab countries, it had to agree not to have dealings with any of the 1500 companies on the blacklist.

Because many of the blacklisted companies either resided or conducted business in New York, there was a growing concern that the Arab boycott was having an effect on the state's economy and that it violated the state's Human Rights Law. The Assembly Subcommittee on Human Rights was asked by Assembly Speaker Stanley Steingut to investigate the boycott. The Assembly Office of Legislative Oversight and Analysis was directed to assist the Subcommittee, chaired by Assemblyman Joseph Lisa.

The principal task of the Office was to survey shipping companies, exporters, banks, insurance companies, and other business concerns dealing in foreign trade. The Office gathered information on the Arab boycott from official meetings, "off the record" conversations, federal government reports from the Department of Commerce and other agencies, and from published material. The investigation found that there was widespread compliance with the Arab boycott among companies and that it was being assisted by actions of the United States government. The Office's Director William Haddad was in continual contact with Speaker Steingut, Assemblyman Lisa and others in state government providing evidence against the boycott.

The investigation by Haddad's Office helped the passage of New York's "Arab Boycott Law" (Laws of 1975, Chapter 662), that went into effect January 1, 1976. This law extended provisions of the state's Human Rights Law and banned commercial boycotts and blacklisting directed against individuals or companies residing or doing business in the state. This was the first such law passed in the United States to deal with the Arab boycott.

After the passage of this law, the Office of Legislative Oversight and Analysis worked closely with New York's Congressional delegation to get similar legislation enacted on the federal level and in other states. This was important to New York because the passage of its law caused a number of companies to leave the state in order to continue trading with Arab countries. New York sought a united front against the boycott. Eventually, the state was instrumental in getting federal legislation passed in 1977 making it illegal to assist the Arab boycott.

From the description of Arab boycott investigation files, 1975-1977. (New York State Archives). WorldCat record id: 81672039

This Office investigated and prepared special reports for various Assembly committees. The Office was responsible to Speaker of the Assembly, Stanley Steingut. It was in operation from 1975 to 1978.

The Office was headed by William Haddad and was commonly called the Haddad Committee. Among reports prepared by the Office were those on the New York State Lottery (1975), banks and the New York City financial crisis (1976), and the safety of generic drugs (1977).

From the New York State Archives, Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY. Agency record NYSV88-A308

Relation Name
associatedWith Haddad, William F., 1928- person
associatedWith Long Island Railroad Company. corporateBody
associatedWith New York City. Housing and Development Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith New York State Police. corporateBody
associatedWith Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. corporateBody
associatedWith Steingut, Stanley. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (City)
New York (State)
New York (State)
New York (State)
New York (State)
New York (City)
Arab countries
New York (State)
New York (City)--World Trade Center
New York (State)
Subject
Commerce--Arab countries
Drugs--Law and legislation
Legislative oversight
Blacklists, Commercial
Blacklists, Commercial--Arab countries
Local transit
Corporations, Government
Housing, Single family
Freedom of the press
Consumer protection--Law and legislation
Police
Drugs--Generic substitution
Jewish--Arab relations
Commerce
Business
Boycotts--Arab countries
Corporations--Corrupt practices
Occupation
Activity
Analyzing
investigating
Legislating

Corporate Body

Active 1975

Active 1979

Information

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