senate Bill S1200

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Expands provisions providing for consolidation of local governments to include counties and cities having a population of less than one million

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Archive: Last Bill Status - STRICKEN


  • 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
Feb 12, 2013 recommit, enacting clause stricken
Jan 09, 2013 referred to local government

S1200 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Municipal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd Gen Muni L, generally; amd ยง33, Munic Home R L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S4291

S1200 - Bill Texts

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Expands provisions providing for consolidation of local governments to include counties and cities having a population of less than one million.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1200

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general municipal law, in relation to authorizing the
consolidation of cities and counties; and to amend the municipal home
rule law, in relation to authorizing counties to create and amend their
county charters in order to facilitate the merger of local governments

PURPOSE:
Amends the portions of "The New N.Y. Government Reorganization and
citizen Empowerment Act", which created in the general municipal law
Article 17-A, to expand and clarify certain provisions of the local
governments merger was enacted into law in 2009 and provided for the
merging of local governments.
It expands the procedures to encompass larger local government
entities up to the size of one million residents. Also amends the
municipal home rule law to conform them to the local government
mergers procedure.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Sections 1 through 3 amend various sections of the general municipal
law expand applicability from "town or village" to a "local
government entity" not having a population over one million.

Section 4 and 9 amends section 754 and 762 of the general municipal
law to lengthen the time required for notice of public hearings from
ten to twenty days to twenty to thirty days and addresses the time
for the hearing expanding it also to twenty to thirty days.

Section 5 expands section 755 of the general municipal law, Referendum
resolution, to include cities or counties as well as towns or villages.

Section 6 and 7 expands section 757, subsections 1, 2 and 3, and
sections 758 and 761 of the general municipal law to expand the
procedures for local government consolidation to include cities or
counties.

Section 8 amends section 761 of the general municipal law to add city
to the list of entities which must make available the consolidation
plan and a descriptive summary thereof.

Sections 10 and 11 amends section 763 of the general municipal law to
expand the petition procedures from town to town, village, city or
county and decrease the percentage of signatures required to five
percent of the number of electors.

Section 12 amends section 765, subsection 6, of the municipal law to
expand the dissolution of courts to encompass more than local justices.

Section 13 amends section 33 of the municipal home rule law by adding
paragraph f to address the merger of local governments.

JUSTIFICATION:
Article 17-A to the General Municipal Law created a locally initiated
and standardized that merging local governments could merge some or


all of their operations. This proposal was designed to allow
adjoining towns, villages, cities or counties (outside New York
City), or any combination thereof, to merge into a single local
government a there are limited opportunities for local government
implementation of mergers.
This was because there was no one standard procedure for merging the
operation of municipal governments. Hence what complicates this is
that the prospective merging municipalities are negotiations
substance and procedure at the same time.

Every time two municipal governments wished to merge, these entities
had to plan, design and implement their own independently developed
merger plan. Of those processes which did exist, they addressed only
"same type" governments, and did not address cities or counties at
all, The benefit of the bill was that it facilitates a municipality's
ability to use one set standard municipal merger process instead of
crafting its own procedure to merge on an individual basis and then
petitioning the state legislature to enact a special merger law.

Local officials have stated that in times of fiscal crisis substantial
interest has been generated in locally initiated merger procedures.
Sometimes there is a window of opportunity for local governments to
seriously evaluate service and governing needs for their communities
and for them to determine how they might combine structures with
neighboring local governments facing the same needs.

The original bill, Chapter 74 of 2009, established a general merger
procedure to give local governments the means to take advantage of
this "window of opportunity" for local mergers. However, the language
passed was lacking and was not expansive enough to include many
municipal entities. This bill addresses this issue by amending
certain sections to expand from simply Towns and sometimes villages
to include villages, Cities, and Counties.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12- S.4291 - Referred to Local Government

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Consolidation of local government structures is expected to provide
long term savings to those local governments.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
shall have become a law.

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

                                  1200

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government

AN ACT to amend the general municipal law, in  relation  to  authorizing
  the  consolidation  of cities and counties; and to amend the municipal
  home rule law, in relation to authorizing counties to create and amend
  their county charters in order  to  facilitate  the  merger  of  local
  governments

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

  Section 1. Subdivisions 4 and 13 of section 750 of the general munici-
pal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read
as follows:
  4. "Contiguous" shall mean when a portion of a [town or village] LOCAL
GOVERNMENT ENTITY abuts the boundary of another [town or village]  LOCAL
GOVERNMENT ENTITY, including a [town or village] LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY
separated  from  the  exact  boundary of another [town or village] LOCAL
GOVERNMENT ENTITY by a street, road, railroad, highway, river  or  other
natural or artificial stream or body of water.
  13.  "Local government entity" or "entity" shall mean a town, village,
CITY, COUNTY, district, special improvement district, CITY  DISTRICT  or
other  improvement  district,  including,  but  not  limited to, special
districts created pursuant to articles eleven, twelve, twelve-A or thir-
teen of the town  law,  library  districts,  SPECIAL  PURPOSE  DISTRICTS
CREATED  BY COUNTIES UNDER THE COUNTY LAW and other districts created by
law; provided, however, that a local government entity shall not include
school districts[,] OR ANY city [districts or special purpose  districts
created by counties under county law] HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION
OR MORE.
  S  2.  Subdivision  1  of section 751 of the general municipal law, as
added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05305-01-3

S. 1200                             2

  1. Two or more local government  entities,  whether  within  the  same
county  or  different  counties, may be consolidated into a single local
government entity if each of the local government entities is contiguous
to at least one of the other consolidating local government entities and
if  together  the  local  government  entities would form a consolidated
local government entity of a kind or class that is authorized under  the
laws  of  the state [of New York]. The requirement that local government
entities be contiguous to consolidate does not apply to  entities  other
than towns [and], villages, CITIES AND COUNTIES.
  S  3.  Subdivision  2  of section 753 of the general municipal law, as
added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  2. cause the proposed joint  consolidation  agreement,  along  with  a
descriptive summary thereof and a reference to the public place or plac-
es  within  each  entity  where  a  copy  thereof may be examined, to be
displayed on a website maintained by  each  entity  or  otherwise  on  a
website maintained by the village, town, CITY and/or county in which the
entities are located; and
  S  4.  Subdivision  2  of section 754 of the general municipal law, as
added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  2. The public hearing or hearings shall be held on notice of at  least
[ten]  TWENTY days, but not more than [twenty] THIRTY days, published in
a newspaper or newspapers having general circulation within  each  local
government  entity  to  be consolidated and displayed on a website main-
tained by each entity or  otherwise  on  a  website  maintained  by  the
village, town, CITY and/or county in which the entities are located. The
notice of the hearing or hearings shall provide a descriptive summary of
the proposed joint consolidation agreement and a reference to the public
place  or  places within the entities where a copy of such agreement may
be examined.
  S 5. Section 755 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter  74
of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  S   755.  Referendum  resolution  for  consolidation  of  towns  [or],
villages, CITIES AND COUNTIES.  1. If a  joint  consolidation  agreement
calls for the consolidation of two or more towns, [two or more] villages
[or  one  or  more  towns  and  villages],  CITIES AND/OR COUNTIES, then
contemporaneous with the  final  approval  of  the  joint  consolidation
agreement  pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred fifty-
four of this title, the governing body or bodies of the local government
entities to be consolidated shall  enact  a  resolution  calling  for  a
referendum  on the proposed consolidation by the electors in each of the
entities.
  2. The resolution calling for the referendum on the  proposed  consol-
idation shall:
  (a)  provide  (i)  the  name  of each of the towns [and/or], villages,
CITIES AND/OR COUNTIES proposed to be  consolidated,  (ii)  a  statement
fully  describing  the  territory  to  be  included  within the proposed
consolidated local government entity, (iii) the  name  of  the  proposed
consolidated local government entity, and (iv) the date for the referen-
dum,  in accordance with subdivision one of section seven hundred fifty-
eight of this title;
  (b) state the substance of the question to be submitted to  the  elec-
tors; and
  (c)  set forth such other matters as may be necessary to call, provide
for and give notice of the referendum and to  provide  for  the  conduct
thereof and the canvass of the returns thereupon.

S. 1200                             3

  3.  The  resolution  calling  for a referendum on the proposed consol-
idation shall have attached to it the  final  approved  version  of  the
joint consolidation agreement.
  S  6.  Subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of section 757 of the general municipal
law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read  as
follows:
  1.  The electors of two or more local government entities may commence
a consolidation proceeding by filing an  original  petition,  containing
not  less  than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision two
of this section and in the form provided for  in  subdivision  three  of
this  section,  with  the  clerk of the town, VILLAGE, CITY OR COUNTY in
which the entities  or  the  greater  portion  of  their  territory  are
located[,  except that if one or more of the entities to be consolidated
is a village the original petition of electors from the village shall be
filed with the clerk of the village]. Accompanying  the  filed  petition
shall be a cover sheet containing the name, address and telephone number
of an individual who signed the petition and who will serve as a contact
person.
  2.  The  petition  shall contain the signatures of at least [ten] FIVE
percent of the number of electors or five thousand  electors,  whichever
is  less, in each local government entity to be consolidated[; provided,
however, that where the  local  government  entity  to  be  consolidated
contains  five hundred or fewer electors, the petition shall contain the
signatures of at least twenty percent of the  number  of  electors].  No
signature  on a petition is valid unless it is the original signature of
an elector.
  3. The petition shall substantially comply with, and be circulated in,
the following form:
               PETITION FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSOLIDATION
  We, the undersigned electors and legal voters of (insert type of local
government entity - e.g., town, village, CITY, COUNTY  or  district)  of
(insert name of local government entity), New York, qualified to vote at
the  next  general or special election, respectfully petition that there
be submitted to the electors and legal voters of (insert type  and  name
of  local  government  entities  proposed to be consolidated), for their
approval or rejection at a referendum held for that purpose, a  proposal
to  consolidate  (insert  type and name of local government entity) with
(insert type and name of local government entity or entities).
  In witness whereof, we have signed our names on  the  dates  indicated
next to our signatures.
     Date      Name - print name under signature           Home Address
  1. _____     _________________________________           ____________
  2. _____     _________________________________           ____________
  3. _____     _________________________________           ____________
  (On the bottom of each page of the petition, after all of the numbered
signatures,  insert a signed statement of a witness who is a duly quali-
fied elector of the state  of  New  York.  Such  a  statement  shall  be
accepted  for  all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit, and if it
contains a material false statement, shall subject the person signing it
to the same penalties as if he or she has been duly sworn. The  form  of
such statement shall be substantially as follows:
  I, (insert name of witness), state that I am a duly qualified voter of
the  state  of New York. Each of the persons that have signed this peti-
tion sheet containing (insert number) signatures have signed their names
in my presence on the dates indicated above and identified themselves to
be the same person who signed the sheet. I understand that  this  state-

S. 1200                             4

ment  will  be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affida-
vit, and if it contains a materially false statement, shall  subject  me
to the penalties of perjury.
_________________  _________________________________
     Date                     Signature of Witness)
  (In  lieu of the signed statement of a witness who is a duly qualified
voter of the state of New York, the  following  statement  signed  by  a
notary public or a commissioner of deeds shall be accepted:
  On  the  date  indicated  above  before me personally came each of the
electors and legal voters whose signatures appear on this petition sheet
containing (insert number) signatures, who signed  the  petition  in  my
presence  and  who, being by me duly sworn, each for himself or herself,
identified himself or herself as the one and same person who signed  the
petition and that the foregoing information they provided was true.
_________________            _________________________________
     Date                     Notary Public or Commissioner of Deeds)
  S  7.  Subdivision  1  of section 758 of the general municipal law, as
added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  1. A referendum required by [sections] SECTION  seven  hundred  fifty-
five  or  seven hundred fifty-seven of this title shall be placed before
the electors of each of the local government entities to be consolidated
at a special election to be held not less than sixty or more than ninety
days after the enactment of a resolution calling  for  such  referendum,
provided,  however,  that  in  cases where a [town] STATEWIDE or village
general election falls within such period, the question may  be  consid-
ered during [a town or village] SUCH general election.
  S  8.  Subdivision  2  of section 761 of the general municipal law, as
added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  2. cause the proposed elector initiated consolidation plan, along with
a descriptive summary thereof and a reference to  the  public  place  or
places  within  each  entity where a copy thereof may be examined, to be
displayed on a website maintained by  each  entity  or  otherwise  on  a
website maintained by the village, town, CITY and/or county in which the
entities are located; and
  S  9.  Subdivision  2  of section 762 of the general municipal law, as
added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  2. The public hearing or hearings shall be held on notice of at  least
[ten]  TWENTY days, but not more than [twenty] THIRTY days, published in
a newspaper or newspapers having general circulation within  each  local
government  entity  to  be consolidated and displayed on a website main-
tained by each entity or  otherwise  on  a  website  maintained  by  the
village, town, CITY and/or county in which the entities are located. The
notice of the hearing or hearings shall provide a descriptive summary of
the proposed elector initiated consolidation plan and a reference to the
public  place  or places within the entities where a copy of such agree-
ment may be examined.
  S 10. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section  763  of  the  general
municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to
read as follows:
  (a)  file an original petition, containing not less than the number of
signatures provided for in subdivision three of this section, seeking  a
referendum  on  the question whether the elector initiated consolidation
plan shall take effect, with the clerk of the  town,  VILLAGE,  CITY  OR
COUNTY  in  which  the entity or the greater portion of its territory is
located[, except that if the entity is a village the  original  petition

S. 1200                             5

of  electors  from  the  village  shall  be  filed with the clerk of the
village]; and
  S  11.  Subdivision  3 of section 763 of the general municipal law, as
added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  3. The petition shall  be  circulated,  signed  and  authenticated  in
substantial  compliance  with  the  provisions  of section seven hundred
fifty-seven of this title, shall contain  the  signatures  of  at  least
[twenty-five] FIVE percent of the number of electors or fifteen thousand
electors,  whichever  is  less,  in  the  local  government entity to be
consolidated, and shall be accompanied by a cover sheet  containing  the
name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the peti-
tion and who will serve as a contact person.
  S  12.  Subdivision  6 of section 765 of the general municipal law, as
added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  6. If a joint consolidation agreement  or  elector  initiated  consol-
idation  plan  provides for the dissolution of a [local justice] COUNTY,
FAMILY, SURROGATE'S, CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE court, all court  records  of
such court shall be deposited with a [justice court] judge OR JUSTICE OF
A COURT HAVING LIKE JURISDICTION AS THE COURT DISSOLVED to be designated
by  the  administrative  judge of the judicial district within which the
dissolving [justice] court is located. The  designated  [justice  court]
judge OR JUSTICE shall have authority to execute and complete all unfin-
ished business.
  S  13.  Subdivision  4 of section 33 of the municipal home rule law is
amended by adding a new paragraph f to read as follows:
  F. PROVIDE FOR ANY MATTER  OTHERWISE  AUTHORIZED  BY  LAW  AS  MAY  BE
REQUIRED IN ORDER TO CREATE, CONFORM OR ACCOMMODATE A COUNTY CHARTER DUE
TO  A  MERGER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WITHIN THE COUNTY PURSUANT TO ARTICLE
SEVENTEEN-A OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW.
  S 14. This act shall take effect on  the  one  hundred  eightieth  day
after it shall have become a law.

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