Senate Gives Final Passage to Mandate Relief Bill for Schools

June 17, 2014

The New York State Senate today gave final passage to a measure that will provide mandate relief to local school districts by eliminating the requirement of an annual visual inspection of school buildings. The bill (S3968A), sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton), would reduce the additional burden forced on school districts, eliminating costs, saving taxpayers money.  

Senator Ritchie said, “The annual visual inspections requirement is a classic example of duplicative, outdated bureaucratic red tape that needlessly increases costs for local governments, school districts and taxpayers.  Action on this bill shows that we are listening to taxpayers and communities and demonstrates the Senate's commitment to lowering costs through sensible mandate relief.”

Under current law, all public school buildings must undergo an intensive safety evaluation with the five-year Capital Facilities Plan -- a safety rating system that evaluates the need for maintenance, repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction. This plan relies on a system of evaluations and assessment that are much more robust than the required annual visual inspections.

This legislation eliminates the annual visual inspections which are a costly and wasteful mandate that provides no useful information to local school districts. 

The bill previously passed the Assembly and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.