senate Bill S699

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Relates to providing an exemption for school districts from requirements for separate specifications for public works

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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 education
Jan 05, 2011 referred to education

S699 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3682
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §308, Ed L; amd §101, Gen Muni L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S1254, A3748

S699 - Bill Texts

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Provides an exemption for school districts from requirements for separate specifications for public works; permits school district to assign contract to a single responsible person, firm or corporation; permits school district to require a general contractor to submit proposed subcontractor bids; directs the commissioner of education to prepare a study on the impact of such exemption.

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BILL NUMBER:S699

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the education law and
the general municipal law, in relation to exempting school
districts from requirements for separate specifications for public
work;
and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration
thereof

PURPOSE:

This bill allows school districts to elect a single contractor for
building projects.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 adds a new subdivision to section 308 of the education law
directing the Commissioner to to issue a report on the impact of
exempting school districts from separate bidding requirements.

Section 2 amends Section 101 of the general municipal law by adding a
new subdivision 5 allowing school districts to hire a single
contractor for work on school district facilities. School districts
electing a single contractor may require the apparent low bidder and
second low bidder to submit the names of the bidder's proposed
subcontractors which may be rejected by a school district on the Same
basis a single contractor's bid may be refused. Proposed and approved
subcontractors may not be changed without written approval of the
school district. Payment of subcontractors shall be in accordance
with Section 106-b of the General Municipal Law (prompt payment). The
bidder shall specify the value to be paid to each subcontractor. A
school district may reject any bid if the business organization,
resources, financial standing, or experience of the bidder justifies
such rejection.

Section 3 sets the effective date and the length of the terms of this
provision to be five years.

JUSTIFICATION:

Currently, the Wicks statute requires school districts to award
separate bids for general contracting, electrical, plumbing and
heating/venting/air conditioning on all projects exceeding $50,000.
New York State is the only state to impose these requirements on
public projects.
Abolishing the Wicks law has been a priority issue for school
officials for the last few decades, as well as many concerned real
property taxpayers.

School officials claim that without a single contractor in charge,
coordination of the project presents difficulties for a district. In
addition, delays often occur resulting in a costlier project and more


disruptions for the students and school personnel while construction
is ongoing.

While most public works projects are required to award separate bids,
exceptions have been granted over the years to allow for the election
of single bid contracts. Exceptions include the New York City
Construction Authority (Chapter 738,L.1988) which has had an
exemption from Wicks since 1988 and was again recently renewed in
2004 for another five year period. In addition, individual exemptions
have been made for specific school projects for the Ithaca City
School District (Chapter 500,L.1997), Niagara Falls School District
(Chapter 562,L.1996), and the Buffalo School District (Chapter 605,
L.2000). The State University Construction Fund (SUCF) is also free
from the Wicks mandate. SUCF has built over $2 billion worth of SUNY
campuses and has demonstrated that "bid shopping" has not been a
problem on single award contracts. In 1999, a Wicks analysis on
public construction in New York City provided by Pricewaterhouse
Coopers concluded that projects built under the Wicks law cost
significantly more and took longer to build than similar projects not
subject to the Wicks requirements. Other studies and reports (NYS
School Boards Association, 1991; NYS Division of Budget, 1987;
Niagara Falls School District, 1996) had similar findings indicating a
10% to 30% savings on projects completed without Wicks. School
districts faced with fiscal constraints need the flexibility offered
in this bill and taxpayers need the relief currently afforded to the
New York City School Construction Authority. The fact that the State
has continuously renewed the Wicks exemption for New York City
schools since 1988 indicates that a cost savings has been achieved by
eliminating the multiple award requirement. School districts outside
of the city of New York should be afforded the same opportunity to
award a single contractor instead of the presently required multiple
contractors. Nothing in this bill precludes a school board, in its
discretion, from entering into a Project Labor Agreement.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-2010: S.1254 - Referred to Education
2007-2008: S.2986-A - Advanced to Third Reading
2005-2006: S.4759-A - Advanced to Third Reading

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Cost savings to the state is anticipated as the state provides school
districts with a percentage of their building costs through building
aid.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Significant cost savings to the local school districts is anticipated.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Effective September 1 next succeeding date and expires five years
thereafter, with provisions.

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

                                   699

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

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

AN ACT to amend the education law and  the  general  municipal  law,  in
  relation  to exempting school districts from requirements for separate
  specifications for public work; and providing for the repeal  of  such
  provisions upon expiration thereof

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

  Section 1.  The opening paragraph of section 308 of the education  law
is  designated subdivision 1 and a new subdivision 2 is added to read as
follows:
  2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL COMMISSION A STUDY ON THE IMPACT OF  EXEMPT-
ING  SCHOOL  DISTRICTS  FROM  THE  SEPARATE  BIDDING REQUIREMENTS OF THE
GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION  SIX  OF
SECTION  ONE  HUNDRED ONE OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW. SUCH STUDY SHALL
INCLUDE THE IMPACT  ON  TIME  FRAMES  FOR  COMPLETING  CONSTRUCTION  AND
IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS, THE OVERALL COSTS OF SUCH PROJECTS, THE QUALITY OF
WORK PERFORMED AND THE INTEGRITY OF THE BIDDING PROCESS. THE COMMISSION-
ER  SHALL  ISSUE  SUCH STUDY TO THE GOVERNOR, THE STATE COMPTROLLER, THE
TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY IN THE
FOURTH YEAR FOLLOWING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  S 2. Section 101 of the general municipal law is amended by  adding  a
new subdivision 6 to read as follows:
  6.  A. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION, SPECIFICA-
TIONS FOR WORK PERTAINING TO THE CONSTRUCTION, ADDITION  OR  IMPROVEMENT
OF  ANY  SCHOOL DISTRICT BUILDINGS OR APPURTENANT FACILITIES MAY PROVIDE
FOR ASSIGNMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUPERVISION AND COORDINATION OF ANY
OR ALL OF THE CONTRACTS FOR SUCH WORK TO A SINGLE RESPONSIBLE AND  RELI-
ABLE PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00376-01-1

S. 699                              2

  B.  WHERE  A SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTS TO PROVIDE FOR THE ASSIGNMENT OF A
CONTRACT TO A SINGLE PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH A
OF THIS SUBDIVISION, SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY REQUIRE THE  APPARENT  LOW
BIDDER  AND,  AT  THE  DISCRETION  OF  THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, THE APPARENT
SECOND  LOW  BIDDER, TO SUBMIT TO THE DISTRICT THE NAMES OF THE BIDDER'S
PROPOSED SUBCONTRACTORS FOR THE ELECTRICAL  WORK;  HEATING,  VENTILATING
AND  AIR  CONDITIONING  WORK;  AND  THE PLUMBING WORK. ONLY ONE PROPOSED
SUBCONTRACTOR SHALL BE NAMED FOR EACH SUCH TRADE.  SUCH PROPOSED SUBCON-
TRACTOR OR SUBCONTRACTORS MAY BE REJECTED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ON  THE
BASIS  SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH E OF THIS SUBDIVISION. UPON REJECTION OF A
PROPOSED  SUBCONTRACTOR  OR  SUBCONTRACTORS,  THE  SCHOOL  DISTRICT  MAY
REQUIRE  THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER TO SUBMIT AN ALTERNATE PROPOSED SUBCON-
TRACTOR OR SUBCONTRACTORS WITHIN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS. SHOULD THE  APPARENT
LOW  BIDDER FAIL TO PROPOSE ALTERNATE SUBCONTRACTORS SUBJECT TO APPROVAL
BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, THE SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY CONSIDER THE NEXT APPAR-
ENT LOW BIDDER AND SHALL FOLLOW THE SAME PROCEDURE  SET  FORTH  IN  THIS
PARAGRAPH.   SUCH PROPOSED SUBCONTRACTORS OF THE BIDDER, APPROVED BY THE
SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL BE USED ON THE WORK FOR WHICH THEY  WERE  PROPOSED
AND  APPROVED,  AND  THEY  SHALL NOT BE CHANGED EXCEPT WITH THE SPECIFIC
WRITTEN APPROVAL OF THE DISTRICT.
  C. PAYMENT TO THE PROPOSED SUBCONTRACTORS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH  B  OF
THIS  SUBDIVISION, SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION
ONE HUNDRED SIX-B OF THIS ARTICLE.  IN THE EVENT ANY SUCH  SUBCONTRACTOR
IS NOT PAID BY THE CONTRACTOR, THE SUBCONTRACTOR SHALL IMMEDIATELY NOTI-
FY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF SUCH FACT.
  D.  WITH THE SUBMISSION OF THE NAMES OF THE PROPOSED SUBCONTRACTORS AS
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH B OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE  BIDDER  SHALL  SPECIFY
THE  VALUE  TO  BE  PAID  EACH  SUCH  SUBCONTRACTOR  FOR  THE WORK TO BE
PERFORMED BY SUCH SUBCONTRACTOR.
  E. A SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY REJECT ANY OR ALL BIDS OR WAIVE ANY INFORMAL-
ITY IN A BID IF IT REASONABLY BELIEVES THAT THE PUBLIC INTEREST WILL  BE
PROMOTED  THEREBY. A SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY REJECT ANY BID IF, IN ITS JUDG-
MENT, THE BUSINESS ORGANIZATION, RESOURCES, FINANCIAL STANDING, OR EXPE-
RIENCE OF THE BIDDER JUSTIFIES SUCH REJECTION IN VIEW OF THE WORK TO  BE
PERFORMED.
  F.  THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE NEW YORK
CITY SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AUTHORITY ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO TITLE SIX  OF
ARTICLE EIGHT OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW.
  S  3.  This  act  shall  take  effect  on  the first of September next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law, and shall apply
to all contracts advertised or solicited for bid on or after such effec-
tive date; provided that the provisions of this act shall expire and  be
deemed repealed five years after such effective date.

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