Senator Marcellino And Comptroller To Negotiate Language For Comprehensive School Audit Legislation

Carl L Marcellino

January 11, 2005

After a face-to-face meeting, State Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) and Comptroller Alan Hevesi have agreed to negotiate legislation which would allow the Comptroller to set standards for school audits. The bill would also provide the Comptroller’s Office a permanent funding source to pay for needed auditing staff. In 2004, Marcellino drafted S. 7492-A which would institute a five year audit cycle for school districts to be audited directly by the New York State Comptroller.

"There are two things that all New Yorkers agree upon when it comes to education. We want our children to receive the best education possible, and we want to ensure that our hard earned tax dollars are being spent wisely by our school districts. By working with the Comptroller we will be able to reach agreement on legislation which protects our taxpayers from fraud, while giving the Comptroller the ability to set standards for these school audits, plus it gives him the cash to hire the best and brightest auditors," said Senator Marcellino.

Senator Marcellino’s school auditing bill was passed unanimously by the State Senate last year. Marcellino and Hevesi agree that it is critical that this legislation should not become an unfunded mandate on New York State schools or local taxpayers. Senator Marcellino will be introducing the bill which will address concerns that the Comptroller has raised.

"We have an opportunity to correct a problem plaguing too many school districts - faulty audits. By working together, we have an opportunity to truly lead by example by setting the standards for school audits, and giving accountants the guidelines that we all feel are needed to protect our taxpayers," continued Senator Marcellino.

"I am working on a bill which will protect our taxpayers. The Comptroller has issued a report citing inadequate audits being done on school districts. However, bills and reports do not ensure that tax dollars for education are being spent in our class rooms, not lining an unscrupulous administrator’s pocket. By joining forces with Comptroller Hevesi I am confident that the Assembly will do the right thing for our children and our taxpayers and pass this compromise legislation," concluded Senator Marcellino.