senate Bill S49

Makes provision regarding legislative additions to the governor's proposed budget bills

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE

Summary

Requires disclosure of proposed recipients of member item appropriations; requires all members to be allowed an equal amount of appropriations for member items; makes the process of distributing member item funds more open to the public and provides for more equitable distribution of funds.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S49
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
State Finance Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง53-e, St Fin L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S5293

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S49

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the state finance law, in relation to legislative additions
to the governor's proposed budget bills

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To make the process of distributing
"member items" more open and equitable.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Adds a new section 53-e to the state
finance law, to make the process of distributing member items:

Provides that if there is any addition to the governor's budget bill
for a member item, then every legislator in that house shall be
entitled to direct an equal appropriation for use in his or her
legislative district.

The senate finance and assembly ways and means committee shall provide
the following for each proposed additional appropriation as described
in subdivision one of this section:

* the formal name of the program, its sponsoring group, and its full
address; the names of the sponsoring legislator or legislators;

* a description of and justification for the program; and

* whether a sponsoring legislator, or any of his or her family
members, is an employee or conducts business with the sponsoring
group or program.

The bill also provides that the Senate Finance Committee and the
Assembly Ways and Means Committee shall establish further rules and
regulations for determining whether a proposed additional
appropriation will be included in the state budget, and specifies
that if so, it must be included as a line item. All information
required by the new section must be made available to the public at
a cost not to exceed what is provided for in Article 6 of the Public
Officers Law.

JUSTIFICATION:
Currently, the member item process is neither equitable
nor open. Clearly, the process is unfair; some legislators receive
large amounts of funding for their districts, while others receive
little or no funding. A 1990 study by Common Cause/New York found
that one group of counties with less than half the state's population
got nearly two thirds of all member item money for schools and the
elderly.

No formal mechanisms exist for the distribution of member item funds
to particular legislators' districts, or for groups to apply for
member item grants. There does not appear to be any assessment of the
relative merits of member item grants.


We should hold ourselves, and our colleagues, accountable to the citi-
zens of New York. Member items are paid for with taxpayer money.
Information about who stands to benefit from these state dollars
should be available for public comment before the money is committed.
It is particularly important now, with the state facing a fiscal
crisis, that we insist on integrity of the member item process.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-10 - S.5293 (Squadron) - Finance, A.1271 (Galef) - Ways and Means.
A.7364 of 2007/2008 A.1740 of 2005/2006 A.6330 & S.7618 of 2003/2004
A.6806 & S.770 of 2001/2002 S.995 of 1999/2000 S.3807 of 1997/1998
S.3045 of 1995/1996 S.8381 of 1993/1994

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   49

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance

AN ACT to amend the state finance law, in relation to legislative  addi-
  tions to the governor's proposed budget bills

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The state finance law is amended by adding  a  new  section
53-e to read as follows:
  S 53-E. LEGISLATIVE ADDITIONS TO THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSED BUDGET BILLS.
1.  IF  THERE  IS  ANY  ADDITION  TO  A  GOVERNOR'S PROPOSED BUDGET BILL
PROPOSED OR SPONSORED FOR INCLUSION  IN  SUCH  BILL  BY  ANY  INDIVIDUAL
MEMBER  OF  THE  SENATE  OR ASSEMBLY FOR PURPOSES OF FUNDING PROJECTS OR
PROGRAMS WITHIN SUCH INDIVIDUAL MEMBER'S DISTRICT, THEN EACH  INDIVIDUAL
SENATOR SHALL BE ENTITLED TO AN EQUAL APPROPRIATION AS ANY OTHER SENATOR
AND EACH INDIVIDUAL MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO AN EQUAL
APPROPRIATION AS ANY OTHER MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY.
  2. THE SENATE FINANCE AND THE ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEES SHALL
PROVIDE  THE  FOLLOWING  FOR  EACH  PROPOSED ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION AS
DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION: THE  FORMAL  NAME  OF  THE
PROGRAM; ITS SPONSORING GROUP; ITS FULL ADDRESS; ITS LEGISLATIVE SPONSOR
OR SPONSORS; AND A DESCRIPTION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PROGRAM.
  3.  THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE AND ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE
SHALL ESTABLISH FURTHER RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR DETERMINING WHETHER  A
PROPOSED  ADDITIONAL  APPROPRIATION  AS  DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF
THIS SECTION SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE STATE BUDGET.
  4. ANY PROPOSED ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION AS DESCRIBED  IN  SUBDIVISION
ONE OF THIS SECTION MUST BE INCLUDED IN A BUDGET BILL AS A LINE-ITEM.
  5.  ANY MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE WHO SPONSORS ANY PROPOSED ADDITIONAL
APPROPRIATION AS DESCRIBED IN  SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF  THIS  SECTION  MUST
DISCLOSE  WHETHER  OR  NOT  THEY,  OR  ANY SPOUSE OR RELATIVE DEFINED IN

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00168-01-1

S. 49                               2

SECTION SEVENTY-THREE-A OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, IS  AN  EMPLOYEE  OR
CONDUCTS  BUSINESS  WITH  THE SPONSORING GROUP OR PROGRAM FOR WHICH THIS
APPROPRIATION IS INTENDED.
  6.  ALL INFORMATION REQUIRED IN THIS SECTION MUST BE MADE AVAILABLE TO
THE PUBLIC AT A COST NOT TO EXCEED WHAT IS PROVIDED FOR IN  ARTICLE  SIX
OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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