senate Bill S4491

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Relates to chief administrative officers, staff and office allocations, introduction of legislation and continuity of legislative sessions

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  • 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
Apr 07, 2011 referred to investigations and government operations

S4491 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7648
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Legislative Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยงยง33-a, 33-b, 33-c, Leg L

S4491 - Bill Texts

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Relates to chief administrative officers, staff and office allocations, introduction of legislation and continuity of legislative sessions.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4491

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the legislative law, in relation to chief administrative
officers, staff and office allocations, introduction of legislation and
continuity of legislative sessions

PURPOSE:
To improve the operations of the Legislature of the State of
New York and create a fair, statutory system of operating the
Legislature.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1:

Provides for the appointment of a chief administrative officer of the
Senate and Assembly who shall have the day to day management and
control of all administrative officers of the senate and assembly and
who shall jointly have control of the joint offices established by
this legislation. The chief administrative officer shall conduct
herself or himself in a non-partisan manner, affording to all Members
of the Senate and Assembly equal treatment and equal access to
administrative services of the legislature.

Provides that the following administrative services shall be combined
between the Senate and Assembly:
human resources such as personnel hiring, benefits management, and
payroll; media services; research; mail;
technology; contracting; other non-public policy related offices.

Provides that employment positions in those shared administrative
areas shall be assigned titles in consultation with the Department of
Civil Service and qualifications and testing procedures for such
positions. Provides that incumbent employees shall receive titles
most compatible with their existing positions and shall pass a test
within four years (and score in the top 3 persons to take such test),
or forfeit their position.

Provides that Members of the Senate and Assembly shall be afforded
equal staffing allocations (equal within each house of the
Legislature) except that the Senate Majority Leader, Minority leader,
and Deputy Majority Leader for Legislative Operations and Deputy
Minority Leader in the Senate; and the Assembly Speaker, Assembly
Majority leader, Assembly Minority leader and Assembly Deputy
Minority Leader shall receive an additional amount. Provides that
committees shall hire staff upon the recommendation of the
Chairperson in amounts allocated to each Committee by the Assembly
Speaker or Temporary President of the Senate (and provides that the
Ranking Minority Member of each Committee shall be able to hire a
staff person in the amount of $50,000 per committee, or not less than
1/3 of the Committee budget allocated to the Chairperson of the
Committee, whichever is greater).


Provides that there shall be a policy for the location of District and
satellite offices based on defined geographic criteria.

Provides that legislation shall be introduced by a Member of the
Legislature or by the Committee on Rules upon the request of one or
more named, particular Members of the Legislature.

Provides that notice shall be posted on the Senate and Assembly
websites of all legislation to be considered at least 24 hours in
advance of its consideration (unless a message of necessity has been
issued).

Provides, if "member items" exist, they shall be equally allocated by
each Member of the Senate or Assembly (equal within each House of the
Legislature).

Provides that petitions to discharge legislation to the floor for a
vote shall be maintained by the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of
the Assembly; and upon a majority of Members of the Senate or
Assembly signing such petition, the bill shall be voted on within a
week; or, if the requisite number of signatures are obtained between
June 25 and December 10, within twenty weeks but in any event by the
end of the calendar year. Provides that signatures made after
September first in even numbered years do not count.

Section 2:

Provides that if a bill passes in the first year of the two year
Legislative term, it shall be sent to the appropriate committee in
the other House for action on such bill, where that House may act on
the bill at any time during the remainder of the biennial Legislative
Session. Provides that a bill which is reported by a Standing
Committee and is on the floor of the Legislature, may be acted on
anytime during the two-year legislative session (unless the bill
shall have been amended, in which case such bill may be referred back
to a Standing Committee for reconsideration).

Section 3. Effective Date.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:
This legislation would help ensure that any person elected to the New
York State Legislature is not impeded by poor legislative process,
from addressing the basic requirements of their job: answering
constituent inquiries and actively participating in the legislative
process. It would substantially empower "rank and file" members and
statutorily put in place minimum legal standards for the allocation
of funds to hire staff, while creating basic requirements persons
must meet to hold jobs in the New York State Legislature.

JUSTIFICATION:

Every two years, many sincere, competent people are elected to serve
in the Legislature, only to become (in actuality or perception), part
of a process where Legislative leaders have the legal tools to
control all substantial debate; and rank and file members can lose
the ability to effectively advocate for their constituency, simply by
speaking out against the status quo.


An opportunity must be genuinely provided to all Legislators -
Majority and Minority alike, to timely address constituent concerns;
and advance legislation from introduction to law, by advocating for
the same on the merits, and ending the ability of the leadership to
stop ideas worthy of debate and consideration from ever being heard.

This legislation also does for both the Senate and Assembly, what many
Legislators have sought to have local governments and State agencies
do: create efficiencies and shared services when possible. It seeks
to hold the Legislature to the same standards of fairness and
government efficiency that the Legislature and the State's agencies
seek to impute to others through the making of laws and rules.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
By combining administrative services, this proposal will save taxpayer
money.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
The first day of January next succeeding the date on
which it shall have become a law, provided that the Senate and
Assembly shall, by concurrent resolution, adopt rules necessary to
implement this act within twenty days after such act shall have
become a law.

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

                                  4491

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 7, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. BONACIC -- 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 legislative law, in relation to chief administrative
  officers, staff and office allocations,  introduction  of  legislation
  and continuity of legislative sessions

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

  Section 1. The legislative law is amended by adding three new sections
33-a, 33-b, and 33-c to read as follows:
  S 33-A. CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS.  1.  THE  SENATE  AND  ASSEMBLY
SHALL  DESIGNATE  A  CHIEF  ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OF EACH HOUSE.   SUCH
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER SHALL BE KNOWN IN THE SENATE AS THE  SECRE-
TARY  OF THE SENATE. SUCH CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER SHALL BE KNOWN IN
THE ASSEMBLY AS THE CLERK OF  THE  ASSEMBLY.  THE  CHIEF  ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICER  SHALL HAVE DAY TO DAY MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF ALL ADMINISTRA-
TIVE OFFICES OF SENATE AND ASSEMBLY AND SHALL JOINTLY  HAVE  CONTROL  OF
JOINT  OFFICES  ESTABLISHED  BY  THIS  SECTION. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICER SHALL CONDUCT HERSELF  OR  HIMSELF  IN  A  NON-PARTISAN  MANNER,
AFFORDING  TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY EQUAL TREATMENT AND
EQUAL ACCESS TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES OF THE LEGISLATURE.
  2. THE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES OF THE LEGISLATURE  SHALL  BE  COMBINED
AND MANAGED JOINTLY BY THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS. ADMINISTRATIVE
SERVICES INCLUDE SERVICES RELATED TO (A) HUMAN RESOURCES SUCH AS PERSON-
NEL HIRING, BENEFITS MANAGEMENT, AND PAYROLL; (B) MEDIA SERVICES INCLUD-
ING AUDIO, VIDEO, PRINT DESIGN AND PRODUCTION; (C) RESEARCH; (D) MAIL TO
THE  EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE; (E) TECHNOLO-
GY; (F) CONTRACTING; (G) SUCH OTHER SERVICES AS ARE NECESSARY TO  ADMIN-
ISTER  THE  BUSINESS OF THE LEGISLATURE AND DO NOT RELATE TO POLICIES OF
LAW DEVELOPMENT. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SHALL,  IN  CONSULTA-
TION  WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE ESTABLISH A LISTING OF TITLES

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08989-03-1

S. 4491                             2

FOR POSITIONS IN THE AREAS PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SUBDIVISION  AND  QUALI-
FICATIONS  AND TESTING PROCEDURES FOR THE SAME. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICER SHALL ANNUALLY REPORT TO THE COMPTROLLER THE TITLES  FILLED  AND
THE RANK ON EXAMS, WHICH ARE HEREBY DIRECTED TO BE CREATED, OF THE POSI-
TIONS  WHO FILLED SUCH POSITIONS. ALL INCUMBENT EMPLOYEES SHALL BE GIVEN
A TITLE MOST SIMILAR TO THE POSITION HE OR SHE FILLS PRESENTLY AND SHALL
SCORE IN THE TOP THREE OF PERSONS WHO TEST FOR THE POSITIONS, WITHIN THE
FIRST FOUR YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION,  OR  HE  OR  SHE
SHALL  FORFEIT  THEIR  POSITION AT THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR WHEN THE
THIRD SUCH EXAM IS GIVEN. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SHALL  CAUSE
THE  EXAMS TO BE GIVEN AT LEAST ANNUALLY FOR EACH POSITION, STARTING ONE
YEAR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION.
  S 33-B. STAFF AND OFFICE ALLOCATIONS. 1. EACH MEMBER  OF  THE  SENATE,
EXCEPT  AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, SHALL BE ALLOWED AN EQUAL
ALLOCATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF HIRING STAFF.  SUCH  ALLOCATION  SHALL  BE
KNOWN  AS THE "BASIC ALLOCATION". NOTWITHSTANDING SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION:
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE SHALL RECEIVE TWO HUNDRED  PERCENT
OF  SUCH  BASIC  ALLOCATION;  THE DEPUTY MAJORITY LEADER FOR LEGISLATIVE
OPERATIONS AND THE MINORITY LEADER, WHO SHALL EACH RECEIVE  ONE  HUNDRED
SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION. EACH MEMBER OF THE ASSEM-
BLY,  EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SECTION, SHALL BE ALLOWED
AN EQUAL ALLOCATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF  HIRING  STAFF.  SUCH  ALLOCATION
SHALL  BE  KNOWN  AS  THE "BASIC ALLOCATION". NOTWITHSTANDING SUCH BASIC
ALLOCATION:   THE SPEAKER OF THE  ASSEMBLY  SHALL  RECEIVE  TWO  HUNDRED
PERCENT  OF  SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION; THE MAJORITY LEADER AND THE MINORITY
LEADER SHALL EACH RECEIVE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF SUCH BASIC
ALLOCATION.
  2. THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEM-
BLY SHALL EACH ALLOCATE FUNDS TO  COMMITTEES  AND  COMMISSIONS  FOR  THE
PURPOSES  OF HIRING STAFF, WHO SHALL BE HIRED UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF
THE CHAIRPERSON. THE RANKING MINORITY MEMBER  OF  EACH  COMMITTEE  SHALL
ALSO  RECEIVE AN ALLOCATION TO HIRE STAFF IN AN AMOUNT OF AT LEAST FIFTY
THOUSAND DOLLARS, OR ONE-THIRD OF THE AMOUNT ALLOCATED TO HIRE STAFF  BY
THE CHAIRPERSON, WHICHEVER IS GREATER. SUCH FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLAR AMOUNT
SHALL BE SUBJECT TO INCREASE OR DECREASE BASED UPON THE SAME PERCENTAGES
AS  ANY  INCREASE  OR  DECREASE  IN PERSONNEL SERVICES FOR THE SENATE OR
ASSEMBLY. EACH COMMITTEE SHALL BE ALLOCATED A REASONABLE AMOUNT TO  HIRE
STAFF  WITH EXPERTISE IN THE AREAS OF LAW THOSE COMMITTEES ARE RESPONSI-
BLE FOR OVERSIGHT THEREOF.
  3. THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND SPEAKER OF  THE  ASSEMBLY
SHALL  ESTABLISH  POLICIES  FOR  THE PROVISION OF DISTRICT OFFICE(S) FOR
MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE. SUCH POLICIES SHALL PROVIDE  FOR  MORE  THAN
ONE  DISTRICT OFFICE, THE SMALLER OF WHICH SHALL BE KNOWN AS A SATELLITE
OFFICE, UPON THE  DISTRICT  OF  SUCH  MEMBER  MEETING  CERTAIN  DEFINED,
SPECIFIC  GEOGRAPHIC CRITERIA, TO BE DETERMINED BY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
OF THE LEGISLATURE.
  33-C. INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION. 1. LEGISLATION SHALL ONLY BE INTRO-
DUCED AT THE REQUEST OF A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE, OR BY  A  COMMITTEE
BY  VOTE  OF THAT COMMITTEE VOTING TO INTRODUCE A BILL DRAFT BY LEGISLA-
TURE BILL DRAFT NUMBER. THE COMMITTEE  ON  RULES  MAY  INTRODUCE  LEGIS-
LATION,  HOWEVER, AT THE REQUEST OF ONE OR MORE MEMBERS IF SUCH MEMBER'S
NAMES ARE PRINTED ON THE LEGISLATION INDICATING THAT  THE  COMMITTEE  ON
RULES  HAS REQUESTED THE INTRODUCTION OF SUCH LEGISLATION BY THE PARTIC-
ULAR MEMBER OR MEMBERS.
  2. NOTICE SHALL BE POSTED ON THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY WEBSITES  OF  ALL
LEGISLATION TO BE CONSIDERED, BY BILL NUMBER, AT LEAST TWENTY-FOUR HOURS

S. 4491                             3

PRIOR  TO  ITS  CONSIDERATION,  UNLESS  A  MESSAGE OF NECESSITY HAS BEEN
ISSUED BY THE GOVERNOR FOR SUCH LEGISLATION.
  3.  TO  THE EXTENT THAT ITEMS ARE APPROPRIATED IN THE STATE BUDGET FOR
SPECIFIC ORGANIZATIONS OR MUNICIPALITIES AND ARE APPROPRIATED OTHER THAN
BY FORMULA, AND AT THE SPECIFIC DISCRETION AND REQUEST OF MEMBERS OF THE
LEGISLATURE, AND RELATED TO PROJECTS NOT BENEFITING  THE  ENTIRE  STATE,
BUT RATHER ARE FOCUSED ON HELPING ONE OR MORE SPECIFIC MUNICIPALITIES OR
ORGANIZATIONS,  SUCH  FUNDING  SHALL  BE  DEEMED  TO BE A "MEMBER ITEM".
MEMBER ITEMS ARE HEREBY PROHIBITED UNLESS EACH MEMBER OF THE SENATE  AND
EACH  MEMBER  OF  THE ASSEMBLY HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECOMMEND AND HAVE
INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET PROJECTS EQUALING THE SAME COST  AS  EVERY  OTHER
MEMBER  OF THE SENATE OR EVERY OTHER MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY, AS THE CASE
MAY BE. NO MEMBER OF THE SENATE OR ASSEMBLY, HOWEVER, SHALL BE ALLOCATED
MEMBER ITEM FUNDING IF THEY PRESENTLY ARE CHARGED WITH A CRIME  RELATING
TO THIS OFFICE OR OTHERWISE RELATING TO VERACITY.
  4.  THE  SECRETARY OF THE SENATE AND CLERK OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL MAIN-
TAIN DISCHARGE PETITIONS, TO BE STORED IN THE WELL  OF  THE  SENATE  AND
ASSEMBLY.  A DISCHARGE PETITION SHALL BE A PETITION REQUESTING A VOTE ON
A PARTICULAR PIECE OF LEGISLATION OR RESOLUTION BY  BILL  OR  RESOLUTION
NUMBER.  THE DISCHARGE PETITION SHALL BE FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE
SENATE OR CLERK OF THE ASSEMBLY BY THE BILL OR RESOLUTION  SPONSOR.  ALL
SUCH PETITIONS SHALL BE OPEN FOR SIGNATURE DURING THE HOURS THE LEGISLA-
TURE  IS  IN  SESSION.  UPON MORE THAN HALF THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE OR
ASSEMBLY SIGNING A DISCHARGE PETITION, SUCH  LEGISLATION  OR  RESOLUTION
SHALL  BE  DISCHARGED  FROM  ANY  COMMITTEE IT IS IN, AND BROUGHT TO THE
FLOOR OF THE SENATE OR ASSEMBLY FOR A VOTE WITHIN ONE WEEK, OR,  IF  THE
REQUISITE  NUMBER  OF  SIGNATURES ARE OBTAINED BETWEEN THE DATES OF JUNE
TENTH AND SEPTEMBER FIRST, WITHIN TWENTY WEEKS, BUT IN ANY EVENT BY  THE
END  OF  THE CALENDAR YEAR. NO SIGNATURE MADE BETWEEN SEPTEMBER FIRST OF
AN EVEN NUMBER CALENDAR YEAR AND DECEMBER  THIRTY-FIRST,  OF  THAT  SAME
YEAR SHALL COUNT TOWARD REACHING THE MAJORITY DESCRIBED HEREIN.
  S  2.   The legislative law is amended by adding a new section 42-a to
read as follows:
  S 42-A. CONTINUITY OF LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS. 1. UPON PASSAGE OF A  BILL
BY  ONE  HOUSE OF THE LEGISLATURE, SUCH BILL SHALL AUTOMATICALLY BE SENT
TO THE APPROPRIATE COMMITTEE IN THE OTHER HOUSE FOR ACTION ON SUCH BILL,
WHERE THAT HOUSE MAY ACT ON THE BILL AT ANY TIME DURING THE REMAINDER OF
THE BIENNIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
  2. EVERY BILL WHICH SHALL HAVE REACHED THE ORDER OF THIRD READING  BUT
WHICH  SHALL  NOT  HAVE BEEN ACTED ON BY THE HOUSE BEFORE THE END OF THE
FIRST YEAR OF THE TWO-YEAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION, SHALL MAINTAIN ITS PLACE
ON THE ORDER OF THIRD READING UNTIL THE HOUSE SHALL ACT ON SUCH BILL  OR
UNTIL THE END OF THE TWO-YEAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
  3.  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS  SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO BUDGET BILLS
INTRODUCED  BY  THE  GOVERNOR  PURSUANT  TO   ARTICLE   SEVEN   OF   THE
CONSTITUTION, BILLS REQUIRING A HOME RULE MESSAGE FROM ONE OR MORE LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS  PURSUANT  TO  ARTICLE NINE OF THE CONSTITUTION, BILLS WHICH
APPROPRIATE PUBLIC FUNDS, OR CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS TO AMEND THE CONSTI-
TUTION PURSUANT TO ARTICLE NINETEEN OF THE CONSTITUTION OR BILLS SUBJECT
TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION FIFTY OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next  succeed-
ing  the  date  on  which it shall have become a law; provided, that the
senate and assembly shall, by concurrent resolution, adopt rules  neces-
sary  to implement this act within twenty days after such act shall have
become a law.

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