The New York State Senate this week approved legislation to ensure local governments could continue to save tax dollars on contract purchases. The bill (S2947), sponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury) eliminates the expiration of a law that currently allows local governments to save on costs by utilizing existing federal, state and local government agency contracts for the purchase of goods and services.
Senator Little said, “There’s always talk of helping local governments operate more efficiently. Eliminating the sunset date is a simple and direct way to help them achieve savings by assuring them of the certainty of this law in the years ahead.”
Cooperative purchasing, commonly referred to as “piggy-backing,” is a procurement method in which a contract previously awarded to a government agency may be utilized by other government agencies on the same terms and conditions.
Senator Little was the sponsor of a law adopted in 2012 authorizing local governments to piggy-back on contracts with other government agencies. The original focus of the measure was ensuring legal compliance with contracts, but since then, local governments have been utilizing the flexibility to achieve savings. The law will sunset on July 31, 2019.
This bill eliminates the sunset date and allows local governments to plan long-term for future purchases with the opportunity of saving local taxpayers money. Groups including the New York State Association of Counties and New York State School Boards Association have expressed support.
The bill was sent to the Assembly.