The Senate Local Government Committee today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Betty Little that would require a state commission to review thousands of state statutes affecting local governments.
Little's legislation (S.264-a) would direct the New York State Law Revision Commission to review all general laws that relate to local governments to determine their effectiveness, ease of administration, fairness and equity. The commission would issue a report to the Governor and Legislature of its findings and recommendations no later than December 1, 2011.
“This was a recommendation made several years ago by local officials as part of a report I issued on intermunicipal agreements,” said Little. “The patchwork of laws creates confusion. For example, cities or villages can establish their own fire departments, while towns cannot. Towns cannot set their own speed limits, but villages can within certain limitations.”
The Law Revision Commission, created by the Legislature in 1934, consists of the chairpersons of the Committees on the Judiciary and Codes of the Senate and Assembly, as members ex officio, and five members appointed by the Governor, each for a term of five years. The Governor designates the Chairperson of the Commission.
Little said the last complete review of all the state general consolidated laws was done almost a century ago, in 1909. The County Law was last revised in 1950, Town Law in 1932 and Village Law in 1972.