senate Bill S50

Provides for disclosure of memoranda of understanding regarding certain line item appropriations in the state budget

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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 INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Summary

Provides for disclosure of memoranda of understanding between the governor and the legislature regarding "lump sum" line item appropriations in the state budget.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5898
Versions:
S50
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Public Officers Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §88, Pub Off L; add §28, St Fin L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S5274, A652
2007-2008: S3278, A8243

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S50

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public officers law and the state finance law,
in relation to public disclosure of
memoranda of understanding
regarding certain line item appropriations in the state budget

PURPOSE:
To provide transparency in the state budget regarding lump
sum budget line items by making public any budget memoranda of
understanding (MOU) or any segregation of lump sum appropriation
under the state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Adds a new paragraph k to subdivision 2 of
section 88 of the public officers law requiring line item
appropriation information to be available to the public through the
state's Freedom of Information Law. This appropriation information
must contain detailed information regarding the program or project
being funded, how it was selected to receive funding, the parties
involved in the selection process and the dollar amount of the
appropriation.

The proposal also creates a new section 28 in the state finance law
which requires that a memorandum of understanding or any lump sum
appropriation greater than $250,000 contained in the state budget
shall require a second passage by each house of the legislature. The
second passage of the appropriation must contain language detailing
the amount of the appropriation, the project, how it was chosen and
parties involved in the selection process of the project.

This new section includes a requirement that a memoranda of
understanding or lump sum appropriation less than $250,000 that does
not specify the project being funded, the selection criteria, the
parties involved in the selection process and the amount of the
appropriation, must post this information on the Senate and Assembly
web sites. This information must be posted no less than thirty days
prior of the release of the funds to the appropriate state agency.

JUSTIFICATION:
Large lump sum amounts in the state budget are often
subject to Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the leaders of
the Legislature and the Executive. These funds are often distributed
at the sole discretion of these leaders without the public's
awareness of how the money is spent. The MOUs are often secret
documents that are negotiated in private and members of the Senate
and Assembly are expected to approve the expenditure of millions of
dollars with no detail. This legislation makes MOUs public documents,
requires they contain detailed information and that they be made
available for review. The public has a right to know how taxpayer
dollars are being appropriated before they are spent.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2009-10: S.5274 (Squadron) - Investigations and Governmental
Operations, A.652 (Kavanagh) - Governmental Operations

2008: A.8243 (Kavanagh) - Governmental Operations
2007: A.8243 (Kavanagh) - Governmental Operations

FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE:
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
________________________________________________________________________

                                   50

                       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 Investigations and Govern-
  ment Operations

AN ACT to amend the public officers law and the state  finance  law,  in
  relation  to public disclosure of memoranda of understanding regarding
  certain line item appropriations in the state budget

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

  Section  1.  Paragraphs  (i) and (j) of subdivision 2 of section 88 of
the public officers law, paragraph (i) as added by chapter  933  of  the
laws  of  1977  and as relettered by chapter 813 of the laws of 1987 and
paragraph (j) as added by chapter 510 of the laws of 1999,  are  amended
and a new paragraph (k) is added to read as follows:
  (i)  any  other files, records, papers or documents required by law to
be made available for public inspection and copying[.];
  (j) external audits conducted pursuant to section  ninety-two  of  the
legislative  law  and  schedules  issued  pursuant to subdivision two of
section ninety of the legislative law[.]; AND
  (K) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY ORDER, RULE OR RESOLUTION TO THE CONTRARY, ANY
MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE  EXECUTIVE  AND  THE  LEGISLATURE
REGARDING LUMP SUM APPROPRIATION LISTED AS LINE ITEMS IN THE STATE BUDG-
ET.    SUCH  MEMORANDA  OF UNDERSTANDING, OR ANY SEGREGATION OF LUMP SUM
APPROPRIATION, BETWEEN THE LEGISLATIVE LEADERS AND/OR THE GOVERNOR SHALL
SPECIFY THE PROGRAM OR PROJECT BEING FUNDED, THE SELECTION CRITERIA, THE
PARTIES INVOLVED IN THE SELECTION PROCESS AND THE DOLLAR AMOUNT  OF  THE
APPROPRIATION.
  S  2.  The  state finance law is amended by adding a new section 28 to
read as follows:
  S 28. BUDGETED FUNDS FOR UNSPECIFIED CAPITAL  PROJECTS  AND  OPERATING
GRANTS.  1.  ANY  SINGLE  GRANT  PROVIDED TO ANY RECIPIENT PURSUANT TO A

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00171-01-1

S. 50                               2

MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING OR ANY SEGREGATION OF LUMP SUM  APPROPRIATION
GREATER  THAN  TWO  HUNDRED  FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS MADE FROM A LUMP SUM
APPROPRIATION FOR UNSPECIFIED  CAPITAL  PROJECTS  AND  OPERATING  GRANTS
RESULTING  FROM  THE  STATE BUDGET PROCESS BETWEEN THE EXECUTIVE AND THE
LEGISLATURE, SHALL BE SUBSEQUENTLY SUBMITTED  BY  THE  GOVERNOR  TO  THE
LEGISLATURE FOR PASSAGE AND APPROVAL, PRIOR TO THE RELEASE OF SUCH FUNDS
TO THE APPROPRIATE STATE AGENCY.
  2.  ANY SINGLE GRANT PROVIDED TO ANY RECIPIENT PURSUANT TO A MEMORANDA
OF UNDERSTANDING OR ANY SEGREGATION OF LUMP SUM APPROPRIATION LESS  THAN
TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS RESULTING FROM THE STATE BUDGET PROC-
ESS  BETWEEN THE EXECUTIVE AND THE LEGISLATURE THAT DOES NOT SPECIFY THE
PROGRAM OR PROJECT BEING FUNDED, THE  SELECTION  CRITERIA,  THE  PARTIES
INVOLVED IN THE SELECTION PROCESS AND THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE APPROPRI-
ATION,  MUST  POST THIS INFORMATION ON THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY WEB SITES
NOT LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE  SUBMISSION  TO  THE  APPROPRIATE
STATE AGENCY.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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