senate Bill S6686

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Abolishes the board of regents and transfers the powers and duties to the commissioner of education; repealer

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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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Feb 27, 2014 referred to education

S6686 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Rpld §§202 - 207, 301 & 303, amd Ed L, generally; add §42-a, Gen Con L

S6686 - Bill Texts

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Abolishes the board of regents and transfers the powers and duties to the commissioner of education; provides that the commissioner shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.

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BILL NUMBER:S6686

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law and the general
construction law, in relation to abolishing the board of regents and
transferring the power and duties thereof to the commissioner of
education and providing for the appointment of such commissioner by
the governor; and to repeal certain provisions of the education law
relating to the board of regents

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 -- Repeals the term "regents" and replaces it with the term
"commissioner".

Section 2 -- Eliminates references to the "Regents of the University
of the State of New York" and replaces it with the term
"commissioner".

Section 3 -- Abolishes the Regents of the University of the State of
New York. All functions and powers possessed by and all of the
obligations and duties of such regents are transferred and assigned by
and devolve upon the commissioner of education.

Section II -- The commissioner of education shall be appointed by the
Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

JUSTIFICATION: The education department of New York State has powers
and duties that effect major policies within the educational system of
New York State. The Board of Regents is presently the governing body
which administers the education department.

For a number of years the policies of the Board of Regents has been at
odds with the values, goals, and objectives of New York's students and
their families. The situation has become worse in recent years due to
policies promulgated by the Regents that are in direct conflict with
the wishes of New York residents. Therefore, to make educational
policy more accountable to the people, this legislation abolishes the
regents and assigns all powers and duties to an education commissioner
who is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.5488, 1995

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the same date as a
concurrent resolution amending the constitution, entitled "CONCURRENT
RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing amendments to section
4 of article 5, section 4 of article 8 and section 2 of article II of
the constitution, in relation to abolishing The Regents of the
University of the State of New York".

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

                                  6686

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 27, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LIBOUS -- 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 construction  law,  in
  relation to abolishing the board of regents and transferring the power
  and  duties thereof to the commissioner of education and providing for
  the appointment of such commissioner by the governor;  and  to  repeal
  certain  provisions  of  the  education  law  relating to the board of
  regents

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

  Section  1. Subdivision 4 of section 2 of the education law is amended
to read as follows:
  4. Regents. The term "regents" means [board of regents of The  Univer-
sity of the State of New York] THE COMMISSIONER.
  S 2. Section 101 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 101. Education  department;  regents of the university.  There shall
continue to be in the state government an  education  department.    The
department is charged with the general management and supervision of all
public  schools  and all of the educational work of the state, including
the operations of The University of the State of New York and the  exer-
cise of all the functions of the education department, of The University
of  the State of New York, [of the regents of the university] and of the
commissioner of education and the performance of all  their  powers  and
duties,  which  were  transferred to the education department by section
three hundred twelve of the state departments law  or  shall  have  been
prescribed by law before March sixteenth, nineteen hundred twenty-seven,
whether  in terms vested in such department or university or in any sub-
department, division or bureau thereof or in such commissioner, board or
officer, and such functions, powers and  duties  shall  continue  to  be
vested  in  the education department continued by this chapter and shall
continue to be exercised and performed therein by or through the  appro-
priate  officer,  sub-department,  division  or bureau thereof, together
with such functions, powers and duties as hereafter may be conferred  or
imposed  upon  such department by law.  All the provisions of this chap-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13735-02-4

S. 6686                             2

ter, in so far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of  this
chapter  as hereby amended or may be made applicable, shall apply to the
education department continued by this chapter as hereby amended and  to
The  University  of  the State of New York, [the board of regents of the
university,] the commissioner of education and to the divisions, bureaus
and officers in such department.   The  head  of  the  department  shall
[continue  to]  be  the  [regents  of The University of the State of New
York, who shall appoint, and at pleasure may remove,  the]  commissioner
of  education.  The commissioner shall continue to be the chief adminis-
trative officer of the department.  The [regents also] COMMISSIONER  may
appoint and, at pleasure, remove a deputy commissioner of education, who
shall  perform  such  duties as the [regents] COMMISSIONER may assign to
him OR HER by rule and who, in the absence or disability of the  commis-
sioner  or  when  a  vacancy exists in the office of commissioner, shall
exercise and perform the  functions,  powers  and  duties  conferred  or
imposed  on  the  commissioner  by  this  chapter.   [The regents of The
University of the State of New York shall continue to constitute a board
and The University of the State of New York, which was  continued  under
such  name  by  section two of article eleven of the constitution, shall
continue to be governed and all its corporate powers to be exercised  by
such board.]
  S  3.  The  education  law is amended by adding a new section 101-c to
read as follows:
  S 101-C. REGENTS; ABOLISHED. 1. THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY  OF  THE
STATE  OF NEW YORK IS HEREBY ABOLISHED, AND ALL THE FUNCTIONS AND POWERS
POSSESSED BY AND ALL OF THE OBLIGATIONS AND DUTIES OF SUCH  REGENTS  ARE
TRANSFERRED  AND  ASSIGNED  TO, ASSUMED BY AND DEVOLVED UPON THE COMMIS-
SIONER OF EDUCATION.
  2. WHEN THE TERM "REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW  YORK"
OR  ANY  EQUIVALENT  EXPRESSION  THEREOF IS USED IN THIS CHAPTER, OR ANY
OTHER LAW, RULE OR REGULATION, SUCH TERM SHALL BE  DEEMED  TO  MEAN  AND
REFER TO THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION.
  S 4. Section 102 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 102. Associate  and  assistant commissioners.   The commissioner [of
education] shall appoint[, subject to the approval of the regents,] such
associate and assistant commissioners as he OR SHE shall deem  necessary
for  the  proper  organization and general classification of the work of
the department, and assign to such associate and assistant commissioners
the work which shall be under their respective supervision.
  S 5. Section 103 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 103. Divisions of department.  By action of the  [regents  upon  the
recommendation of the] commissioner [of education] the department may be
divided  into  divisions and bureaus.   By like action new divisions and
bureaus may be created and divisions and bureaus may be consolidated  or
abolished, and the administrative work of the department assigned to the
several divisions and bureaus.
  S 6. Section 104 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 104. Other  officers and employees.  The commissioner [of education,
subject to the approval of the regents,] shall have power[, in conformi-
ty with their rules,] to appoint all other needed officers and employees
and fix their titles, duties and salaries.
  S 7. Section 105 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 105. Removals and suspensions.  [With the approval of  the  regents,
the] THE commissioner [of education] may, at his OR HER pleasure, remove
from  office  any assistant commissioner, or other appointive officer or
employee; and[, when the regents are not in  session,  the  commissioner

S. 6686                             3

may,  during his pleasure,] suspend, without salary, any such officer or
employee[, but not longer than till the adjournment  of  the  succeeding
meeting of the regents].
  S 8. Section 106 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 106. Joint  seal.  The [regents of the university upon the recommen-
dation of the] commissioner [of education] shall adopt, and  may  modify
at  any  time,  a seal, which shall be used in common as the seal of the
education department and of the university; and copies  of  all  records
thereof  and  of  all  acts,  orders, decrees and decisions made by [the
regents or by] the commissioner [of education], and of  [their]  HIS  OR
HER  official  papers, and of the drafts or machine copies of any of the
foregoing, may be authenticated under the said seal and  shall  then  be
evidence equally with and in like manner as the originals.
  S 9. Section 108 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 108. State  education building.   The state education building shall
be occupied exclusively  by  the  education  department,  including  the
university,  with  the  state  library,  the state museum, and its other
divisions and bureaus, together with such  other  work  with  which  the
commissioner   [of   education   and  the  regents  have]  HAS  official
relations[, as the regents may, in their discretion, provide for  there-
in], and such building and the offices of such department shall be main-
tained at state expense under the charge and care of such department.
  S 10. Section 201 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 201. Corporate name and objects. The corporation created in the year
seventeen  hundred  eighty-four  under  the  name  of The Regents of the
University of the State of New York, is hereby continued under the  name
of  The University of the State of New York, AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE
SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OF THE COMMISSIONER.   Its objects shall  be  to
encourage and promote education, to visit and inspect its several insti-
tutions  and  departments,  to distribute to or expand or administer for
them such property and funds as the state may appropriate therefor or as
the university may own or hold in trust or  otherwise,  and  to  perform
such  other duties as may be intrusted to it. The said corporation shall
have power to take, hold and administer real and personal  property  and
the  income thereof in trust for any educational, scientific, historical
or other purpose within the jurisdiction of the [regents of The  Univer-
sity of the State of New York] COMMISSIONER.
  S  11.  Sections  202, 203, 204, 205, 206 and 207 of the education law
are REPEALED.
  S 12. Section 301 of the education law is REPEALED.
  S 13. Section 302 of the education law is amended to read as follows:
  S 302. How chosen.  The commissioner [of education] shall be  [elected
by  a  majority vote of the regents.  Residence without the state of New
York shall not disqualify him from election] APPOINTED BY  THE  GOVERNOR
WITH  THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL SERVE
AT THE PLEASURE OF THE GOVERNOR.
  S 14. Section 303 of the education law is REPEALED.
  S 15. The general construction law is amended by adding a new  section
42-a to read as follows:
  S  42-A.  REGENTS. WHEREVER THE TERM "REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE
STATE OF NEW YORK" OR ANY EQUIVALENT EXPRESSION THEREOF IS USED  IN  ANY
PROVISION  OF LAW, RULE OR REGULATION, SUCH TERM SHALL BE DEEMED TO MEAN
AND REFER TO THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION.
  S 16. Board of regents abolished. The Regents of the University of the
State of New York is abolished. When the term "Regents of the University
of the State of New York" or any equivalent expression thereof  is  used

S. 6686                             4

in  the  education law or any other law, such regents shall be deemed to
mean and refer to the commissioner of education.
  S 17. Transfer of functions. All of the functions and powers possessed
by all and all of the obligations and duties of the board of regents are
transferred  and  assigned  to, assumed by and devolved upon the commis-
sioner of education.
  S 18.  Continuity of authority. For the purposes of succession to  all
duties,  functions,  powers and obligations transferred and assigned to,
devolved upon and assumed by the commissioner of education  pursuant  to
this  act,  such commissioner shall be deemed and held to constitute the
continuation of the board of regents.
  S 19. Continuance of acts and decisions. All acts and decisions of the
board of regents pertaining to the duties and functions transferred  and
assigned by this act, in force at the time of such transfer, assignment,
assumption or devolution shall continue in full force and effect as acts
and  decisions  of  the commissioner of education until duly modified or
abrogated by such commissioner.
  S 20. Continuance of rules and regulations.  All  rules,  regulations,
acts, determinations and decisions of the board of regents pertaining to
the functions transferred and assigned in this act, in force at the time
of such transfer, assignment, assumption or devolution shall continue in
force  and  effect as rules, regulations, acts, determinations and deci-
sions of the commissioner of education in accordance  with  the  context
thereof, until duly modified or abrogated by such commissioner.
  S  21. Completion of unfinished business. Any business or other matter
undertaken or commenced  by  the  board  of  regents  pertaining  to  or
connected with the duties, functions, powers and obligations transferred
and  assigned  by this act to the commissioner of education, and pending
on the effective date of this act, may be conducted and completed by the
commissioner of education in the same manner and under  the  same  terms
and conditions and with the same effect as if conducted and completed by
the board of regents.
  S 22. Terms occurring in laws, contracts and other documents. Whenever
the  board  of regents is referred to or designated in any law, contract
or document pertaining to the duties, functions, powers and  obligations
transferred  and  assigned by this act to the commissioner of education,
such reference or designation shall be deemed to mean and refer to  such
commissioner.
  S  23.  Pending actions and proceedings. No action pending at the time
when this act shall take effect, brought by  or  against  the  board  of
regents shall be affected by any provision of this act, but the same may
be  prosecuted  or  defended by the education department and the commis-
sioner of education, and the proper party shall, upon application to the
court, be substituted as a party.
  S 24. Codification of changes. The  commissioner  of  education  shall
prepare  or  cause  to  be  prepared  for submission to the next regular
session of the legislature a bill or bills which amend, add to or repeal
appropriate laws so as to make such laws consistent with the  provisions
of this act.
  S  25.  This  act  shall  take effect on the same date as a concurrent
resolution amending the constitution, entitled "CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF
THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing amendments to section 4 of article  5,
section  4 of article 8 and section 2 of article 11 of the constitution,
in relation to abolishing The Regents of the University of the State  of
New York".

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