senate Bill S763A

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to enacting the New York state thruway authority accountability act

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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 17, 2014 print number 763a
amend and recommit to transportation
Jan 08, 2014 referred to transportation
Jan 09, 2013 referred to transportation

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

Co-Sponsors

S763 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2088A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Authorities Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§351, 352, 360 & 363, Pub Auth L; amd §§11 & 14, add §23, Transp L

S763 - Bill Texts

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Enacts the New York state thruway authority accountability act; names the commissioner of DOT as chair of the thruway authority board; directs the commissioner of DOT to submit a plan to merge the thruway authority into the department of transportation.

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BILL NUMBER:S763

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public authorities law and the transportation law, in
relation to enacting the New York state thruway authority accountability
act

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To restore accountability, increase
efficiency, and reduce expenses by making structural reforms and
statutory changes to the Thruway Authority.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill entitles it as the New York State Thruway
Authority Accountability Act.

Section 2 of the bill adds a definition of the Department of
Transportation.

Section 3 of the bill reconstitutes the Board of the Thruway Authority,
establishes qualifications for appointment, and adds the Commissioner
of Transportation as the ex officio chair of the Board.

Section 4 of the bill specifies that the Commissioner of
Transportation will have sole responsibility in administering the
operations of the Thruway Authority.

Section 5 of the bill directs the Commissioner of Transportation to
establish a plan to merge the operations of the Thruway Authority
with that of the Department of Transportation (DOT). It also provides
that there will be no layoffs of personnel in either the Thruway
Authority or DOT as a direct consequence of the merger. The
Commissioner is required to submit a merger plan to the Governor and
Legislature within 120 days of the effective date of this Act.
Furthermore, the Commissioner must contract with a certified public
accounting firm to undertake an independent, comprehensive forensic
audit of the Thruway Authority, which will have to be completed
within one year of the initial contract and then conducted every 3
years thereafter. This audit is to be submitted to the Governor,
State Comptroller, and Legislature.

Section 6 of the bill outlines who is to be responsible for the
operation and maintenance of the Thruway system.

Section 7 of the bill directs the Thruway Authority to submit its
requisite annual report to the legislative leaders and fiscal
committees.

Section 8 of the bill mandates that DOT's annual budget request
include any proposals for toll increases and the justification for
such increases.

Section 9 of the bill is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:


The Thruway Authority is not working.
The currently
proposed 45 percent toll hike on trucks would actually be the fifth
toll hike since 2004. As a frame of reference, in the first 50 years
of the Thruway, there were only four toll increases. Clearly, the
problems at the Authority are so severe, the lack of accountability
so systemic, and the fiscal irresponsibility so breathtaking that we
need to hit the reset button and start over.

This "Thruway Authority Accountability Act" would restore
accountability, increase efficiency and reduce expenses by making
structural reforms and statutory changes to the Thruway Authority as
follows:

(1) merging the Thruway Authority with the Department of
Transportation (DOT);

(2) creating a new Thruway Authority Board, the members of which must
have transportation or financial expertise;

(3) making the DOT Commissioner the Chair of the Thruway Authority
Board;

(4) requiring a comprehensive forensic audit of the Thruway Authority
every three years;

(5) requiring any proposed Thruway toll hikes - and the reasons for
the requested increases -to be clearly identified in DOT's budget; and

(6) reducing expenses by consolidating the Thruway Authority's
overlapping functions within DOT and streamlining the Authority
through attrition.

In December of 2011, the Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE)
Commission appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo had initially approved
a proposal to share service and leadership teams between DOT and a
new Thruway/Bridge Authority. However, the cost saving merger
proposed by the SAGE Commission did not make it into its January 2012
recommendations.

Under this "Thruway Authority Accountability Act", DOT would take over
day-to-day operational oversight of the Thruway Authority. However,
the Thruway Authority will continue to exist to protect the $3.2
billion in outstanding bond obligations, and its credit rating, and
thus prevent any default on debt.

In addition, this Act would prohibit the termination of any of the
Thruway Authority's more than 3,000 employees or any DOT employees as
a direct consequence of the merger. Over time, cost savings would be
achieved by attrition, which, for most State agencies, occurs at
rates estimated to be between 5 and 10 percent annually.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:


The bill
prohibits Thruway Authority layoffs as a result of its merger with
DOT. However, savings are expected from operational efficiencies and,
over time, attrition. The savings are unknown at this time, but are
expected to be identified in the merger plan submitted by the
Commissioner of Transportation. The bill seeks to ensure that the
fiduciary responsibilities of the Authority Board are to remain
unaffected by this merger, and that the Authority will fulfill its
obligations to bond holders. In addition, it is the intention of the
Sponsor that the tolls will continue to be collected and guarantee
the debt of the Authority.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

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

                                   763

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

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

AN ACT to amend the public authorities law and the  transportation  law,
  in  relation to enacting the New York state thruway authority account-
  ability act

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

  Section  1.  This act shall be known and be may cited as the "New York
state thruway authority accountability act".
  S 2. Section 351 of the public authorities law is amended by adding  a
new subdivision 4-a to read as follows:
  4-A.  THE  TERM  "DEPARTMENT" SHALL MEAN THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTA-
TION.
  S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 352 of the public  authorities  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  766  of  the  laws  of 2005, is amended to read as
follows:
  1. (A) A board to be known as "New York state  thruway  authority"  is
hereby created. Such board shall be a body corporate and politic consti-
tuting a public corporation. It shall consist of seven members appointed
by  the  governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate. [The
members first appointed shall serve for terms ending three, six and nine
years, respectively from January first next  succeeding  their  appoint-
ment.  Provided,  however,  that two board members first appointed on or
after the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand five
which amended this subdivision shall serve an initial term of two years;
provided further that two other board  members  first  appointed  on  or
after the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand five
which  amended  this  subdivision  shall  serve an initial term of three
years. Their successors shall be appointed for terms of nine years each.
A member to be designated as chairman in his or  her  appointment  as  a

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03069-02-3

S. 763                              2

member  shall  be chairman of such board until his or her term as member
expires.] THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION  SHALL  BE  DESIGNATED  AND
SERVE  EX-OFFICIO AS THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD UNTIL THE END OF THE TERM OF
THE  GOVERNOR  BY  WHOM  HE  OR  SHE  WAS APPOINTED AND UNTIL HIS OR HER
SUCCESSOR IS APPOINTED AND HAS QUALIFIED. The  chairman  and  the  other
members shall serve without ADDITIONAL salary or other compensation, but
shall  be  entitled  to  reimbursement  for  their  actual and necessary
expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.
  (B) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW OR  THE  PROVISIONS  OF
ANY  APPOINTMENT  BY  THE  GOVERNOR, THE TERMS OF ALL MEMBERS SERVING AS
SUCH AS OF MARCH THIRTY-FIRST, TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN, OR ON  THE  EFFEC-
TIVE  DATE OF THIS PARAGRAPH, WHICHEVER DATE IS LATER, SHALL IMMEDIATELY
TERMINATE, EXCEPT THAT SUCH MEMBERS SHALL CONTINUE TO SERVE UNTIL  THEIR
SUCCESSORS ARE APPOINTED AND HAVE QUALIFIED.
  (C)  ANY  MEMBER APPOINTED SHALL HAVE EXPERIENCE IN ONE OR MORE OF THE
FOLLOWING AREAS: TRANSPORTATION, BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, FINANCE,  ACCOUNT-
ING OR MANAGEMENT OF LARGE CAPITAL PROJECTS.
  (D)  TWO  MEMBERS  OF THE BOARD APPOINTED ON OR AFTER APRIL FIRST, TWO
THOUSAND THIRTEEN, SHALL BE APPOINTED TO TERMS OF THREE YEARS; TWO OTHER
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL BE APPOINTED TO TERMS OF FOUR YEARS; AND  TWO
MEMBERS  OF  THE  BOARD  SHALL  BE  APPOINTED  TO  TERMS  OF FIVE YEARS,
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH MEMBERS SHALL CONTINUE TO SERVE  AFTER  THE
END  OF THEIR TERMS UNTIL THEIR SUCCESSORS ARE APPOINTED AND HAVE QUALI-
FIED, AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THE TERM  TO  WHICH  ANY
SUCH MEMBER SHALL HAVE BEEN APPOINTED SUCH A CONTINUATION OF THE TERM OF
A MEMBER SHALL NOT REQUIRE CONFIRMATION BY THE SENATE.
  S  4.  Section 11 of the transportation law, as amended by chapter 460
of the laws of 1971, is amended to read as follows:
  S 11. Department of transportation; commissioner. There  shall  be  in
the  state  government  a department of transportation.  The head of the
department shall be the commissioner of  transportation,  who  shall  be
appointed  by  the  governor,  by and with the advice and consent of the
senate, and hold office until the end of the term  of  the  governor  by
whom he was appointed and until his successor is appointed and has qual-
ified.
  The  commissioner  of  transportation  shall  have  sole charge of the
administration of the department AND THE NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AUTHORI-
TY ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO TITLE NINE  OF  ARTICLE  TWO  OF  THE  PUBLIC
AUTHORITIES  LAW.  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL SERVE AS A
MEMBER AND CHAIR OF THE THRUWAY AUTHORITY BOARD ESTABLISHED PURSUANT  TO
SECTION THREE HUNDRED FIFTY-TWO OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW.
  S  5.  The transportation law is amended by adding a new section 23 to
read as follows:
  S 23. NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AUTHORITY ADMINISTRATION  AND  OVERSIGHT.
1.  THE  COMMISSIONER SHALL  ESTABLISH A PLAN TO MERGE THE OPERATIONS OF
THE THRUWAY AUTHORITY  WITH  THAT  OF  THE  DEPARTMENT  AND  CONSOLIDATE
SERVICES  WHERE  APPROPRIATE, PROVIDED THAT NO EMPLOYEE OF THE AUTHORITY
OR THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE TERMINATED AS A CONSEQUENCE  OF  THE  MERGER.
THE  COMMISSIONER  SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE
WITHIN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE  OF  THIS  SECTION.
THE  REPORT SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE,
THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE MINORITY  LEADER  OF  THE  SENATE,  THE
MINORITY  LEADER  OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE CHAIR AND RANKING MINORITY MEMBER
OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE CHAIR AND RANKING  MINORITY  MEMBER
OF THE ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, THE CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORI-
TY  MEMBERS  OF  THE  SENATE  AND ASSEMBLY CORPORATIONS, AUTHORITIES AND

S. 763                              3

COMMISSIONS COMMITTEES, AND THE CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORITY  MEMBERS  OF
THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEES.
  2. (A) THE COMMISSIONER SHALL, WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE
OF  THIS  SECTION,  AND  EVERY  THREE  YEARS THEREAFTER, CONTRACT WITH A
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR THE PROVISION  OF  AN  INDEPENDENT,
COMPREHENSIVE, FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE THRUWAY AUTHORITY. SUCH AUDIT SHALL
BE  PERFORMED  IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERALLY ACCEPTED GOVERNMENT AUDITING
STANDARDS.
  (B) THE CERTIFIED INDEPENDENT PUBLIC  ACCOUNTING  FIRM  PROVIDING  THE
INDEPENDENT,  COMPREHENSIVE,  FORENSIC  AUDIT  OF  THE THRUWAY AUTHORITY
SHALL BE PROHIBITED FROM PROVIDING AUDIT SERVICES IF THE LEAD OR COORDI-
NATING AUDIT PARTNER, HAVING PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR  THE  AUDIT,  OR
THE  AUDIT  PARTNER  RESPONSIBLE  FOR REVIEWING THE AUDIT, HAS PERFORMED
AUDIT SERVICES FOR THE AUTHORITY WITHIN ANY OF THE TEN  PREVIOUS  FISCAL
YEARS OF THE AUTHORITY.
  (C)  THE  CERTIFIED  INDEPENDENT  ACCOUNTING FIRM PERFORMING THE AUDIT
PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE PROHIBITED FROM PERFORMING ANY NON-AU-
DIT SERVICES FOR THE AUTHORITY CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH THE AUDIT.
  (D) IT SHALL  BE  PROHIBITED  FOR  THE  CERTIFIED  INDEPENDENT  PUBLIC
ACCOUNTING  FIRM  TO  PERFORM  ANY  AUDIT SERVICE IF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
OFFICER, COMPTROLLER, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, CHIEF ACCOUNTING  OFFICER
OR  ANY  OTHER PERSON SERVING IN AN EQUIVALENT POSITION IN THE AUTHORITY
WAS AN EMPLOYEE, CONSULTANT OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR OF THAT  CERTIFIED
INDEPENDENT  PUBLIC  ACCOUNTING FIRM AND PARTICIPATED IN ANY CAPACITY IN
THE AUDIT OF THE AUTHORITY AT ANY TIME IN THE PAST.
  (E) THE CERTIFIED INDEPENDENT PUBLIC  ACCOUNTING  FIRM  CONTRACTED  TO
PERFORM  THE  INDEPENDENT,  COMPREHENSIVE, FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE THRUWAY
AUTHORITY SHALL, WITHIN ONE YEAR OF  THE  INITIATION  OF  THE  CONTRACT,
REPORT  ITS  FINDINGS,  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR,
THE STATE COMPTROLLER, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAK-
ER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE MINORITY LEADER  OF  THE  SENATE,  THE  MINORITY
LEADER  OF  THE  ASSEMBLY,  THE CHAIR AND RANKING MINORITY MEMBER OF THE
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE CHAIR AND RANKING MINORITY MEMBER  OF  THE
ASSEMBLY  WAYS  AND  MEANS  COMMITTEE,  THE  CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORITY
MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND THE  ASSEMBLY  CORPORATIONS,  AUTHORITIES  AND
COMMISSIONS  COMMITTEES,  AND THE CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORITY MEMBERS OF
THE SENATE AND THE ASSEMBLY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEES.
  S 6. Section 360 of the public authorities law, as amended by  chapter
766 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
  S  360.  Operation  and  maintenance. Operation and maintenance by the
authority of any thruway section or connection or any part thereof or of
a highway connection, the New York state canal system of  which  it  has
assumed  jurisdiction  shall  be  performed  (a) by the use of authority
forces and equipment at the expense of the authority or by agreement  at
the  expense of the state or other parties; (b) by contract with munici-
palities or independent contractors; (c) at the request of the [authori-
ty] COMMISSIONER, by the  [commissioner  and  his  subordinates  in  the
department  of  transportation  as  agents  for,]  AUTHORITY  and at the
expense of the authority, or (d) by a combination of such methods.
  S 7. Section 363 of the public authorities law, as amended by  chapter
766 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
  S  363.  Annual report. The authority shall submit to the governor, to
the [legislature, to] SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE  TEMPORARY  PRESIDENT
OF THE SENATE, THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE, THE MINORITY LEADER OF
THE  ASSEMBLY, THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS
COMMITTEE, the comptroller and to the  director  of  the  budget  on  or

S. 763                              4

before  the first day of February of each year a detailed report setting
forth its [operations and]  fiscal  transactions  during  the  preceding
calendar  year with a statement of its financial condition as of the end
of  such  year  and  a statement of all receipts and expenditures during
such year. Such report shall include detailed  information  relating  to
additional  expenditures  incurred  by  the authority as a result of the
amendments made to subdivision four of section three hundred  fifty-nine
of  this [chapter] TITLE pursuant to the chapter of the laws of nineteen
hundred ninety-two which enacted this sentence.
  S 8. Section 14 of the transportation law is amended by adding  a  new
subdivision 13-a to read as follows:
  13-A.  AS  PART  OF THE DEPARTMENT'S ANNUAL BUDGET REQUEST, TO INCLUDE
ANY REQUESTS FOR THRUWAY AUTHORITY TOLL INCREASES AND JUSTIFICATION  FOR
SUCH INCREASES.
  S 9. This act shall take effect immediately.

Co-Sponsors

S763A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2088A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Authorities Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§351, 352, 360 & 363, Pub Auth L; amd §§11 & 14, add §23, Transp L

S763A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Enacts the New York state thruway authority accountability act; names the commissioner of DOT as chair of the thruway authority board; directs the commissioner of DOT to submit a plan to merge the thruway authority into the department of transportation.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S763A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law and the
transportation law, in relation to enacting the New York state thruway
authority accountability act

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To restore accountability, increase
efficiency, and reduce expenses by making structural reforms and
statutory changes to the Thruway Authority.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill entitles it as the New York State Thruway
Authority Accountability Act.

Section 2 of the bill adds a definition of the Department of
Transportation.

Section 3 of the bill reconstitutes the Board of the Thruway
Authority, establishes qualifications for appointment, and adds the
Commissioner of Transportation as the ex officio chair of the Board.

Section 4 of the bill specifies that the Commissioner of
Transportation will have sole responsibility in administering the
operations of the Thruway Authority.

Section 5 of the bill directs the Commissioner of Transportation to
establish a plan to merge the operations of the Thruway Authority with
that of the Department of Transportation (DOT). It also provides that
there will be no layoffs of personnel in either the Thruway Authority
or DOT as a direct consequence of the merger. The Commissioner is
required to submit a merger plan to the Governor and Legislature
within 120 days of the effective date of this Act. Furthermore, the
Commissioner must contract with a certified public accounting firm to
undertake an independent, comprehensive forensic audit of the Thruway
Authority, which will have to be completed within one year of the
initial contract and then conducted every 3 years thereafter. This
audit is to be submitted to the Governor, State Comptroller, and
Legislature.

Section 6 of the bill outlines who is to be responsible for the
operation and maintenance of the Thruway system.

Section 7 of the bill directs the Thruway Authority to submit its
requisite annual report to the legislative leaders and fiscal
committees.

Section 8 of the bill mandates that DOT's annual budget request
include any proposals for toll increases and the justification for
such increases.

Section 9 of the bill is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: The Thruway Authority is not working. The currently
proposed 45 percent toll hike on trucks would actually be the fifth
toll hike since 2004. As a frame of reference, in the first 50 years
of the Thruway, there were only four toll increases. Clearly, the


problems at the Authority are so severe, the lack of accountability so
systemic, and the fiscal irresponsibility so breathtaking that we need
to hit the reset button and start over.

This "Thruway Authority Accountability Act" would restore
accountability, increase efficiency and reduce expenses by making
structural reforms and statutory changes to the Thruway Authority as
follows:

(1) merging the Thruway Authority with the Department of
Transportation(DOT);

(2) creating a new Thruway Authority Board, the members of which must
have transportation or financial expertise;

(3) making the DOT Commissioner the Chair of the Thruway Authority
Board;

(4) requiring a comprehensive forensic audit of the Thruway Authority
every three years;

(5) requiring any proposed Thruway toll hikes - and the reasons for
the requested increases -to be clearly identified in DOT's budget; and

(6) reducing expenses by consolidating the Thruway Authority's
overlapping functions within DOT and streamlining the Authority
through attrition. In December of 2011, the Spending and Government
Efficiency (SAGE) Commission appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo had
initially approved a proposal to share service and leadership teams
between DOT and a new Thruway/Bridge Authority. However, the cost
saving merger Proposed by the SAGE Commission did not make it into its
January 2012 recommendations.

Under this "Thruway Authority Accountability Act", DOT would take over
day-to-day operational oversight of the Thruway Authority. However,
the Thruway Authority will continue to exist to protect the $3.2
billion in outstanding bond obligations, and its credit rating, and
thus prevent any default on debt. In addition, this Act would
prohibit the termination of any of the Thruway Authority's more than
3,000 employees or any DOT employees as a direct consequence of the
merger. Over time, cost savings would be achieved by attrition, which,
for most State agencies, occurs at rates estimated to be between 5 and
10 percent annually.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: The bill
prohibits Thruway Authority layoffs as a result of its merger with
DOT. However, savings are expected from operational efficiencies and,
over time, attrition. The savings are unknown at this time, but are
expected to be identified in the merger plan submitted by the
Commissioner of Transportation. The bill seeks to ensure that the
fiduciary responsibilities of the Authority Board are to remain
unaffected by this merger, and that the Authority will fulfill its
obligations to bond holders. In addition, it is the intention of the
Sponsor that the toils will continue to be collected and guarantee the
debt of the Authority.


EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.

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

                                 763--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  NOZZOLIO, GALLIVAN, GRISANTI, RANZENHOFER -- read
  twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
  Committee  on Transportation -- recommitted to the Committee on Trans-
  portation in accordance with  Senate  Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to said committee

AN  ACT  to amend the public authorities law and the transportation law,
  in relation to enacting the New York state thruway authority  account-
  ability act

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

  Section 1. This act shall be known and be may cited as the  "New  York
state thruway authority accountability act".
  S  2. Section 351 of the public authorities law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 4-a to read as follows:
  4-A. THE TERM "DEPARTMENT" SHALL MEAN THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  TRANSPORTA-
TION.
  S  3.  Subdivision  1 of section 352 of the public authorities law, as
amended by chapter 766 of the laws  of  2005,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  1.  (A)  A  board to be known as "New York state thruway authority" is
hereby created. Such board shall be a body corporate and politic consti-
tuting a public corporation. It shall consist of seven members appointed
by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the  senate.  [The
members first appointed shall serve for terms ending three, six and nine
years,  respectively  from  January first next succeeding their appoint-
ment. Provided, however, that two board members first  appointed  on  or
after the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand five
which amended this subdivision shall serve an initial term of two years;
provided  further  that  two  other  board members first appointed on or

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03069-03-4

S. 763--A                           2

after the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand five
which amended this subdivision shall serve  an  initial  term  of  three
years. Their successors shall be appointed for terms of nine years each.
A  member  to  be  designated as chairman in his or her appointment as a
member shall be chairman of such board until his or her term  as  member
expires.]  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF  TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE DESIGNATED AND
SERVE EX-OFFICIO AS THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD UNTIL THE END OF THE TERM  OF
THE  GOVERNOR  BY  WHOM  HE  OR  SHE  WAS APPOINTED AND UNTIL HIS OR HER
SUCCESSOR IS APPOINTED AND HAS QUALIFIED. The  chairman  and  the  other
members shall serve without ADDITIONAL salary or other compensation, but
shall  be  entitled  to  reimbursement  for  their  actual and necessary
expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.
  (B) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW OR  THE  PROVISIONS  OF
ANY  APPOINTMENT  BY  THE  GOVERNOR, THE TERMS OF ALL MEMBERS SERVING AS
SUCH AS OF MARCH THIRTY-FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN, OR ON  THE  EFFEC-
TIVE  DATE OF THIS PARAGRAPH, WHICHEVER DATE IS LATER, SHALL IMMEDIATELY
TERMINATE, EXCEPT THAT SUCH MEMBERS SHALL CONTINUE TO SERVE UNTIL  THEIR
SUCCESSORS ARE APPOINTED AND HAVE QUALIFIED.
  (C)  ANY  MEMBER APPOINTED SHALL HAVE EXPERIENCE IN ONE OR MORE OF THE
FOLLOWING AREAS: TRANSPORTATION, BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, FINANCE,  ACCOUNT-
ING OR MANAGEMENT OF LARGE CAPITAL PROJECTS.
  (D)  TWO  MEMBERS  OF THE BOARD APPOINTED ON OR AFTER APRIL FIRST, TWO
THOUSAND FOURTEEN, SHALL BE APPOINTED TO TERMS OF THREE YEARS; TWO OTHER
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL BE APPOINTED TO TERMS OF FOUR YEARS; AND  TWO
MEMBERS  OF  THE  BOARD  SHALL  BE  APPOINTED  TO  TERMS  OF FIVE YEARS,
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH MEMBERS SHALL CONTINUE TO SERVE  AFTER  THE
END  OF THEIR TERMS UNTIL THEIR SUCCESSORS ARE APPOINTED AND HAVE QUALI-
FIED, AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THE TERM  TO  WHICH  ANY
SUCH MEMBER SHALL HAVE BEEN APPOINTED SUCH A CONTINUATION OF THE TERM OF
A MEMBER SHALL NOT REQUIRE CONFIRMATION BY THE SENATE.
  S  4.  Section 11 of the transportation law, as amended by chapter 460
of the laws of 1971, is amended to read as follows:
  S 11. Department of transportation; commissioner. There  shall  be  in
the  state  government  a department of transportation.  The head of the
department shall be the commissioner of  transportation,  who  shall  be
appointed  by  the  governor,  by and with the advice and consent of the
senate, and hold office until the end of the term  of  the  governor  by
whom he was appointed and until his successor is appointed and has qual-
ified.
  The  commissioner  of  transportation  shall  have  sole charge of the
administration of the department AND THE NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AUTHORI-
TY ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO TITLE NINE  OF  ARTICLE  TWO  OF  THE  PUBLIC
AUTHORITIES  LAW.  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL SERVE AS A
MEMBER AND CHAIR OF THE THRUWAY AUTHORITY BOARD ESTABLISHED PURSUANT  TO
SECTION THREE HUNDRED FIFTY-TWO OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW.
  S  5.  The transportation law is amended by adding a new section 23 to
read as follows:
  S 23. NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AUTHORITY ADMINISTRATION  AND  OVERSIGHT.
1.  THE  COMMISSIONER SHALL  ESTABLISH A PLAN TO MERGE THE OPERATIONS OF
THE THRUWAY AUTHORITY  WITH  THAT  OF  THE  DEPARTMENT  AND  CONSOLIDATE
SERVICES  WHERE  APPROPRIATE, PROVIDED THAT NO EMPLOYEE OF THE AUTHORITY
OR THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE TERMINATED AS A CONSEQUENCE  OF  THE  MERGER.
THE  COMMISSIONER  SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE
WITHIN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE  OF  THIS  SECTION.
THE  REPORT SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE,
THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE MINORITY  LEADER  OF  THE  SENATE,  THE

S. 763--A                           3

MINORITY  LEADER  OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE CHAIR AND RANKING MINORITY MEMBER
OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE CHAIR AND RANKING  MINORITY  MEMBER
OF THE ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, THE CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORI-
TY  MEMBERS  OF  THE  SENATE  AND ASSEMBLY CORPORATIONS, AUTHORITIES AND
COMMISSIONS COMMITTEES, AND THE CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORITY  MEMBERS  OF
THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEES.
  2. (A) THE COMMISSIONER SHALL, WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE
OF  THIS  SECTION,  AND  EVERY  THREE  YEARS THEREAFTER, CONTRACT WITH A
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR THE PROVISION  OF  AN  INDEPENDENT,
COMPREHENSIVE, FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE THRUWAY AUTHORITY. SUCH AUDIT SHALL
BE  PERFORMED  IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERALLY ACCEPTED GOVERNMENT AUDITING
STANDARDS.
  (B) THE CERTIFIED INDEPENDENT PUBLIC  ACCOUNTING  FIRM  PROVIDING  THE
INDEPENDENT,  COMPREHENSIVE,  FORENSIC  AUDIT  OF  THE THRUWAY AUTHORITY
SHALL BE PROHIBITED FROM PROVIDING AUDIT SERVICES IF THE LEAD OR COORDI-
NATING AUDIT PARTNER, HAVING PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR  THE  AUDIT,  OR
THE  AUDIT  PARTNER  RESPONSIBLE  FOR REVIEWING THE AUDIT, HAS PERFORMED
AUDIT SERVICES FOR THE AUTHORITY WITHIN ANY OF THE TEN  PREVIOUS  FISCAL
YEARS OF THE AUTHORITY.
  (C)  THE  CERTIFIED  INDEPENDENT  ACCOUNTING FIRM PERFORMING THE AUDIT
PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE PROHIBITED FROM PERFORMING ANY NON-AU-
DIT SERVICES FOR THE AUTHORITY CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH THE AUDIT.
  (D) IT SHALL  BE  PROHIBITED  FOR  THE  CERTIFIED  INDEPENDENT  PUBLIC
ACCOUNTING  FIRM  TO  PERFORM  ANY  AUDIT SERVICE IF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
OFFICER, COMPTROLLER, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, CHIEF ACCOUNTING  OFFICER
OR  ANY  OTHER PERSON SERVING IN AN EQUIVALENT POSITION IN THE AUTHORITY
WAS AN EMPLOYEE, CONSULTANT OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR OF THAT  CERTIFIED
INDEPENDENT  PUBLIC  ACCOUNTING FIRM AND PARTICIPATED IN ANY CAPACITY IN
THE AUDIT OF THE AUTHORITY AT ANY TIME IN THE PAST.
  (E) THE CERTIFIED INDEPENDENT PUBLIC  ACCOUNTING  FIRM  CONTRACTED  TO
PERFORM  THE  INDEPENDENT,  COMPREHENSIVE, FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE THRUWAY
AUTHORITY SHALL, WITHIN ONE YEAR OF  THE  INITIATION  OF  THE  CONTRACT,
REPORT  ITS  FINDINGS,  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR,
THE STATE COMPTROLLER, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAK-
ER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE MINORITY LEADER  OF  THE  SENATE,  THE  MINORITY
LEADER  OF  THE  ASSEMBLY,  THE CHAIR AND RANKING MINORITY MEMBER OF THE
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE CHAIR AND RANKING MINORITY MEMBER  OF  THE
ASSEMBLY  WAYS  AND  MEANS  COMMITTEE,  THE  CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORITY
MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND THE  ASSEMBLY  CORPORATIONS,  AUTHORITIES  AND
COMMISSIONS  COMMITTEES,  AND THE CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORITY MEMBERS OF
THE SENATE AND THE ASSEMBLY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEES.
  S 6. Section 360 of the public authorities law, as amended by  chapter
766 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
  S  360.  Operation  and  maintenance. Operation and maintenance by the
authority of any thruway section or connection or any part thereof or of
a highway connection, the New York state canal system of  which  it  has
assumed  jurisdiction  shall  be  performed  (a) by the use of authority
forces and equipment at the expense of the authority or by agreement  at
the  expense of the state or other parties; (b) by contract with munici-
palities or independent contractors; (c) at the request of the [authori-
ty] COMMISSIONER, by the  [commissioner  and  his  subordinates  in  the
department  of  transportation  as  agents  for,]  AUTHORITY  and at the
expense of the authority, or (d) by a combination of such methods.
  S 7. Section 363 of the public authorities law, as amended by  chapter
766 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:

S. 763--A                           4

  S  363.  Annual report. The authority shall submit to the governor, to
the [legislature, to] SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE  TEMPORARY  PRESIDENT
OF THE SENATE, THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE, THE MINORITY LEADER OF
THE  ASSEMBLY, THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS
COMMITTEE,  the  comptroller  and  to  the  director of the budget on or
before the first day of February of each year a detailed report  setting
forth  its  [operations  and]  fiscal  transactions during the preceding
calendar year with a statement of its financial condition as of the  end
of  such  year  and  a statement of all receipts and expenditures during
such year. Such report shall include detailed  information  relating  to
additional  expenditures  incurred  by  the authority as a result of the
amendments made to subdivision four of section three hundred  fifty-nine
of  this [chapter] TITLE pursuant to the chapter of the laws of nineteen
hundred ninety-two which enacted this sentence.
  S 8. Section 14 of the transportation law is amended by adding  a  new
subdivision 13-a to read as follows:
  13-A.  AS  PART  OF THE DEPARTMENT'S ANNUAL BUDGET REQUEST, TO INCLUDE
ANY REQUESTS FOR THRUWAY AUTHORITY TOLL INCREASES AND JUSTIFICATION  FOR
SUCH INCREASES.
  S 9. This act shall take effect immediately.

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