senate Bill S1295

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Provides restrictions upon the use of state aircraft

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to investigations and government operations
Jan 06, 2011 referred to investigations and government operations

S1295 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6400
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Public Officers Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง72-b, Pub Off L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S4145, A8124

S1295 - Bill Texts

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Provides restrictions upon the use of state aircraft.

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BILL NUMBER:S1295

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public officers law, in relation to the use of state
aircraft by certain state officials, officers and employees

PURPOSE:
To codify in statute guidelines for the use of state aircraft. there
is no law that outlines who may use state aircraft, the requesting
use of said aircraft and for what purposes state aircraft may be used.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one are the findings of the legislature on this issue.

Section 2, subdivision 1 amends the Public Officers Law by adding a
new section 72-b outlining who may request the use of state aircraft
and how such use is approved.

Section 2, subdivision 1(a) defines the term "official state business"
for purposes of determining if the use is allowed under the bill and
vests approval or denial of a request with the executive department.

Section 2, subdivision 1(b) outlines a process for reallocation of
funds for trips that are part official business and part personal
business.

Subdivision 2 establishes criteria the executive department shall
consider in determining whether or not use of state aircraft should
be approved or denied.

Subdivision 3 establishes the procedure for accompanying persons other
than state officials, officers, or employees to travel on state
aircraft along with a schedule for proper reimbursement.

Subdivision 4 requires the state comptroller to annually audit the
assignment and use of state aircraft and present a report, to be
published on the official website of the department of audit and
control.

Section 3 this act shall take effect immediately.

EXISTING LAW:

None.

JUSTIFICATION:
While the State maintains a fleet of aircraft, there has not been. any
clear direction in the form of statutory guidance on who may travel
on them and how they are to be used. This bill would clarify who may
use state aircraft, what they may be used for, and in what

circumstances their use is deemed to be proper and in accordance with
the law.

Currently, our State has no formal process for requesting and using
state aircraft. Typically, state aircraft have been available for use
by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the Assembly,
President Pro Tem of the Senate, Minority Leader of the Assembly, and
Minority Leader of the Senate. There is no actual policy however,
that outlines how aircraft are to be requested, for what purposes the
aircraft is needed, or even whether the trip is to attend official
business or is for a personal nature or mixed use. Indeed, under the
current policy all one need do is submit a written request to the
Executive Department, which is then approved or denied. Oftentimes a
description of the purpose of the trip is de minimus, requiring
approval or denial to rest solely on a small amount of information.

This bill would set forth guidelines for actual use of state aircraft
and require state officials and employees to reimburse the state for
the personal use portion of a trip that is taken for mixed business
and personal purposes. Moreover, criteria are established that the
Executive Department must take into consideration in determining
whether to approve or deny a request for use of the state aircraft.
The State Comptroller would also be required to annually audit the
assignment and use of state aircraft in an effort to uproot fraud and
abuses and also provide a check on the Executive Department's
determinations to either approve or deny requests.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009: S.4145 (Duane), Died in Investigations & Government Ops;
A.8124 (Kavanaugh), Died in Government Ops
2010: S.4145 (Duane), Died in Investigations & Government Ops;
A.8124 (Kavanaugh), Died in Government Ops

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
The State will actually realize funds should this bill take effect as
public officials, officers and employees would be required to
reimburse the state for trips on state aircraft that are for a mixed
use, while currently they are not required to do so.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  1295

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 6, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DUANE  -- 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, in relation to the use of state
  aircraft by certain state officials, officers and employees

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

  Section  1.  Legislative  findings  and intent. It is the intention of
this legislature that a clear-cut statutory policy be  enacted  that  is
both  concise  and  forthright  regarding  usage  of state aircraft. The
legislature determines that state aircraft are paid for and owned by the
taxpayers of the state, who are entitled  to  the  assurance  that  such
resources are being used for legitimate state governmental purposes. The
use  of  state  aircraft shall be reserved for trips that are legitimate
state governmental purposes only, as defined  in  section  72-b  of  the
public officers law, as trips which are predominantly for official state
business. Any person or persons traveling on state aircraft for purposes
other than official state business shall pay for any trip or any portion
of  a trip not exclusively for state business by paying a prorated share
of a commercial air carrier rate.
  S 2. The public officers law is amended by adding a new  section  72-b
to read as follows:
  S 72-B. LIMITATION ON USE OF AIRCRAFT BY STATE OFFICIALS, OFFICERS AND
EMPLOYEES.  1.  THE  AIRCRAFT  OWNED,  LEASED,  OR OPERATED BY ANY STATE
OFFICE, AGENCY, AUTHORITY, DEPARTMENT, OR  BRANCH  OF  THE  LEGISLATURE,
SHALL  BE  AVAILABLE  ONLY  FOR OFFICIAL   STATE BUSINESS. THE EXECUTIVE
DEPARTMENT SHALL HAVE THE SOLE POWER TO APPROVE OR DENY  REQUESTS    FOR
USE OF STATE AIRCRAFT FOR OFFICIAL STATE BUSINESS.
  (A)  FOR  PURPOSES  OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "OFFICIAL STATE BUSINESS"
MEANS ANY ACTIVITY  INVOLVING TRAVEL IN A STATE AIRCRAFT IF THE ACTIVITY
IS REASONABLY REQUIRED,    EXPECTED,  OR  APPROPRIATE,  CONSIDERING  THE

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01072-01-1

S. 1295                             2

NATURE OF THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL'S OR EMPLOYEE'S JOB RESPONSIBILITIES.  THE
ACTIVITIES  SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, ATTENDANCE AT OFFICIAL
MEETINGS, PUBLIC HEARINGS, OR OTHER LEGITIMATE STATE BUSINESS.
  (B)  IF  A  PARTICULAR  FLIGHT  IS  IN PART OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND PART
PERSONAL BUSINESS, THE USE OF THE STATE AIRCRAFT SHALL NOT  BE  APPROVED
UNLESS  THE  MAJORITY  OF  THE FLIGHT EXPENSES AND TIME ARE FOR OFFICIAL
BUSINESS. ANY OFFICIAL REQUESTING SUCH FLIGHT SHALL FILE A REQUEST  WITH
THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT WHICH SHALL DETAIL THE NATURE OF THE ACTIVITIES
THEY  INTEND  TO  UNDERTAKE ONCE THE TRAVEL IS APPROVED, AND IF PERSONAL
BUSINESS IS INVOLVED IN ANY WAY, THEY MUST MAKE A REASONABLE  ALLOCATION
OF THE FLIGHT TIME BETWEEN OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL BUSINESS AT THE TIME OF
SUCH  REQUEST.  AFTER SUCH TRAVEL IS COMPLETE AND IF ANY REALLOCATION OF
OFFICIAL AND BUSINESS TIME IS NECESSARY TO CORRECT THE ORIGINAL REQUEST,
SUCH OFFICIAL SHALL PAY WITH NON-STATE FUNDS TO  THE  APPROPRIATE  STATE
AGENCY  THE  CHARGE  FOR  THE  PART  OF  THE FLIGHT THAT IS ALLOCABLE TO
PERSONAL BUSINESS. THE RATE CHARGED SHALL BE CALCULATED BY  SUCH  AGENCY
USING COSTS THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED IN A RATE DEVELOPED BY A COMMERCIAL
AIR  CARRIER.  IN  ALL  CASES,  THE  FLIGHT  REQUEST FORM, INCLUDING THE
DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES AND THE BASIS FOR THE ALLOCATION AT  THE  TIME
OF  APPLICATION  SHALL BE INDICATED ON THE AIRCRAFT REQUEST FORM AS WELL
AS ANY SUBSEQUENT REALLOCATION SHALL BE KEPT IN THE ORDINARY  COURSE  OF
BUSINESS BY THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.
  2. THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA SHALL BE CONSIDERED BY THE EXECUTIVE DEPART-
MENT IN DETERMINING APPROPRIATE USES OF STATE OWNED, LEASED, OR OPERATED
AIRCRAFT:
  (A)  WHETHER  THE USE OF THE AIRCRAFT IS IN FURTHERANCE OF STATE OFFI-
CIAL  OR EMPLOYEE JOB ASSIGNMENTS.
  (B) WHETHER THE USE OF THE AIRCRAFT IS FOR TRANSPORTING  AN  EMPLOYEE,
STATE    OFFICIAL,  OR OTHER PERSON AUTHORIZED BY THE AGENCY, AUTHORITY,
DEPARTMENT OR LEGISLATIVE BRANCH FOR  PURPOSES  OF  CONDUCTING  OFFICIAL
STATE BUSINESS OR FOR PURPOSES OF PERFORMING SERVICES FOR THE STATE.
  (C)  WHETHER  THE STATE POLICE OR ANY OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICE HAS
DETERMINED THAT SECURITY OR TRANSPORTATION VIA AIRCRAFT IS NECESSARY.
  (D) WHETHER AN EMERGENCY EXISTS REQUIRING THE USE OF THE AIRCRAFT  FOR
THE PROTECTION OF LIFE OR PROPERTY.
  3. A PERSON WHO IS NOT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED IN THIS SECTION MAY ACCOM-
PANY  THE  GOVERNOR, THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF
THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE   ASSEMBLY, THE MINORITY  LEADER  OF  THE
SENATE,  THE  MINORITY  LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY OR THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE
COURT OF APPEALS WHEN SUCH OFFICIAL IS TRAVELING ON STATE  AIRCRAFT  FOR
OFFICIAL  STATE BUSINESS AND THE AIRCRAFT IS TRAVELING WITH SEATS AVAIL-
ABLE.  WHEN THE PERSON ACCOMPANYING SUCH OFFICIAL IS  NOT  TRAVELING  ON
OFFICIAL  STATE BUSINESS AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, THE TRANSPORTATION
CHARGE SHALL BE A PRORATED SHARE OF A COMMERCIAL AIR CARRIER RATE.   THE
SPOUSE,  DOMESTIC  PARTNER  OR IMMEDIATE FAMILY  MEMBERS OF ANY OFFICIAL
SPECIFIED IN THIS SECTION MAY, WITH PAYMENT OF  TRANSPORTATION  CHARGES,
ACCOMPANY  THE  OFFICIAL  WHEN  SUCH  OFFICIAL IS TRAVELING FOR OFFICIAL
STATE BUSINESS AND THE AIRCRAFT HAS SEATS AVAILABLE.
  4. THE STATE COMPTROLLER SHALL ANNUALLY AUDIT THE ASSIGNMENT  AND  USE
OF  STATE  AIRCRAFT, AND SHALL HAVE ACCESS TO ALL DOCUMENTATION RELATING
TO SUCH ASSIGNMENT AND USE.  EACH YEAR THE STATE COMPTROLLER SHALL ISSUE
A REPORT SUMMARIZING THE ANNUAL AUDIT OF STATE AIRCRAFT, A COPY OF WHICH
SHALL BE POSTED TO THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF  AUDIT  AND
CONTROL.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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