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December 10, 2012

State, Not Aid Group, to Run N.Y. Governor's Sandy Fund

The Empire State Relief Fund., established by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help victims of Superstorm Sandy, will be overseen by a government agency rather than a large aid charity, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That arrangement differs from the blueprint established after Hurricane Katrina by Gulf Coast states, which tapped nonprofit groups with disaster-relief expertise to manage victims' funds. None of the Empire State fund's board members have relief experience, a structure that has drawn criticism from nonprofit executives and watchdog groups.

The Empire State fund has raised $17-million and will disburse it to charities and local governments through the state's Office of Homes and Community Renewal. "The state's role as administrator will ensure that every dollar raised goes to helping New Yorkers on the ground instead of overhead expenses, and that the public sees how all the funds are spent," said Matt Wing, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo.