(Albany, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris hailed the Senate passage of the Gianaris/Aubry Queens Library Reform Bill (S.6893-B), which will now move to the desk of Governor Cuomo, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
“I am thrilled the Senate so overwhelmingly passed my bill and look forward to it becoming law so we can end the abuses that plagued our library system,” said Senator Gianaris. “Once enacted, my bill will rein in the excesses revealed in recent reports and provide a long-term blueprint for an efficient, transparent and accountable library system of which every Queens resident can be proud. I am thankful for the way just about everyone in Queens came together to fight for these much-needed reforms, which says a lot about our borough’s desire for transparency and accountability when it comes to public funds.”
The bill, which was crafted with the help of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, was introduced in the Assembly by Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry and in the State Senate by Senator Gianaris in April and quickly gained the support of nearly every member of the Queens delegation of the State Legislature. Recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio added his name to the list of elected officials and leaders who supported the Gianaris/Aubry reform bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 59-1 late Thursday night.
The bill calls for the implementation of several “best practice” reforms, including the creation of an audit committee to oversee the Library’s accounting and financial reporting processes and its annual audits and the establishment of a labor relations committee to address labor issues and oversee the contracting out of services. It would also require key executive staff of the Queens Library to file financial disclosure forms and would subject them to limitations on any outside employment that may present a conflict of interest with their library duties. In addition, the bill would require the Library’s Board of Trustees to approve the hiring of key Library staff.
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