The New York legislature has become the latest state to agree to the enactment of a State False Claims Act, when it approved passage of such a whistleblower law as part of approving the state budget. The Buffalo Times reported on this encouraging development.
We have written before about why states are passing their own whistleblower laws to protect taxpayer money. Congress has created significant financial incentives for states that pass their own state false claims acts, with whistleblower provisions that are at least as effective as the federal False Claims Act.
States whose whistleblower laws are approved by the Office of Inspector General are entitled to a 10% increase in their share of Medicaid fraud recoveries. OIG recently approved the whistleblower laws of Hawaii and Virginia, which now join Illinois, Massachusetts, and Tennessee as having whistleblower laws that qualify the state for the extra funds. OIG has disapproved the whistleblower laws of seven other states, California, Florida, Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, and Texas, which can still strengthen their laws to make them as effective as the federal False Claims Act.
New York Governor Elliott Spitzer and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo supported the whistleblower law.
We are encouraged that New York has taken the responsible step of protecting taxpayer funds by passing its own whistleblower law.