Senator Murphy, Galef Announce passage of BOCES Capital Expenditure Bill

Bi-Partisan Legislation Awaits Governor's Approval

Albany, NY - For nearly 70 years, BOCES has been providing career and technical programs for high school students, services for students with disabilities, and literacy programs and employment training for adults. These services are not be offered by school districts because the costs would be too prohibitive. Yet BOCES has been unable to benefit from tax cap legislation that has provided financial assistance to school districts - an issue that has directly jeopardized much-needed upgrades to BOCES facilities.
Recognizing the need to put BOCES on an even standing with other schools, Senator Terrence Murphy sponsored S4283, a bill exempting BOCES capital expenditures from school district tax levy limits. The Senate passed the bill in June. Hudson Valley Assemblywoman Sandra Galef sponsored a corresponding bill (A.5965) in the State Assembly.
When the New York State Legislature adopted the tax cap legislation in 2011, it allowed school districts to exclude bonding for capital projects from the cap. The tax cap legislation did not include an exemption for BOCES capital projects. Under current law, BOCES capital expenditures must be approved by each of their component school districts. Each component district includes these costs in their district budget that is presented to the voters of each district. This legislation corrects this oversight.
"I am proud to sponsor this Senate bill, which will help level the playing field financially for BOCES," said Senator Murphy. "BOCES has been providing a wide-range of courses and services for more than half a century. It is an innovative, all-inclusive brand of high quality education that deserves our continued support. I would also like to thank our partners in education who brought this disparity to my attention and helped craft this legislation."
"I am glad to see this bill pass in the Assembly," said Assemblywoman Galef. "BOCES provides a valuable service to many students and enriches the educations and lives of many students. It is important to ensure that all public educations are given the same rights and privileges under the law, and this bill furthers that cause."
Mary Fox-Alter, Superintendent of Schools for the Pleasantville Union Free School District said, "I thank the Senator and Assemblywoman for their work on this important piece of legislation.  It makes sense that BOCES Capital expenses be exempt from the tax levy limit in the same way as a local school district's capital expenses are.  Thank you Senator Murphy!" 
"BOCES capital projects affect all member districts who share the costs. With so many regional campuses there is always work needed to be completed," said Dr. George Stone, Superintendent of Schools for the Lakeland Central School District. "Being able to exempt these expenditures from the tax levy cap formula will be a great help for all districts across the state who are struggling to raise enough local revenue. We have been asking for this relief for some time so we are especially grateful to Senator Murphy and Assemblywoman Galef who helped make it possible!"
The legislation is now to be sent to the Governor for his final approval.