Relates to certain activities by members of a board of a community college.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to certain activities by members of a board of a community college
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Under current law, community college boards of trustees are exempt from Section 73 of the Public Officers Law and the ban on gifts exceeding $75.00. This bill would make members of the boards of trustees of the state's community colleges adhere to the gift limit of Section 73.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The proposal would amend subparagraph 1(g) of Section 73 of the Public Officers Law and adds a new subparagraph (v) to § 2 of Section 73 of the Public Officers Law to include, rather than exclude, members of a board of directors of a community college regardless of whether they receive compensation.
JUSTIFICATION: Over the past twenty years there have been many reforms to the Public Officers Law to restore the public's trust and confidence in government through the prevention of corruption, favoritism and undue influence. In 1987 the state passed the Ethics in Government act, and in 1996 it was updated to include community college employees, as well as senior college employees. Community college boards of trustees were not included in the gift ban at that time.
Community college boards of trustees, however, have a tremendous amount of oversight over their strategic and other plans for growth, in both academic and physical areas. They also create operational and capital outlay budgets that are typically multi-million dollar.
With the oversight of such large budgets and the contracts that are included within it, boards of trustees should abide by the Public Officers law gift ban so as to remove any perceived ethical issues or conflicts of interest.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.6334 Advanced to Third Reading 2011-2012: S.3084 Referred to Finance
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1315 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to certain activ- ities by members of a board of a community college THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (g) of subdivision 1 of section 73 of the public officers law, as amended by chapter 283 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows: (g) The term "state agency" shall mean any state department, or divi- sion, board, commission, or bureau of any state department, any public benefit corporation, public authority or commission at least one of whose members is appointed by the governor, or the state university of New York or the city university of New York, including all their constituent units
[except]INCLUDING community colleges of the state university of New York and the independent institutions operating [stat- utory]STATUTORILY, or contract colleges on behalf of the state. S 2. Paragraph (i) of subdivision 1 of section 73 of the public offi- cers law, as amended by chapter 242 of the laws of 1989, is amended to read as follows: (i) The term "state officer or employee" shall mean: (i) heads of state departments and their deputies and assistants other than members of the board of regents of the university of the state of New York who receive no compensation or are compensated on a per diem basis; (ii) officers and employees of statewide elected officials; (iii) officers and employees of state departments, boards, bureaus, divisions, commissions, councils or other state agencies other than officers of such boards, commissions or councils who receive no compen- sation or are compensated on a per diem basis; [and]EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04195-01-3 S. 1315 2
(iv) members or directors of public authorities, other than multi- state authorities, public benefit corporations and commissions at least one of whose members is appointed by the governor, who receive compen- sation other than on a per diem basis, and employees of such authori- ties, corporations and commissions
[.]; AND (V) MEMBERS OF A BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY RECEIVE COMPENSATION. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.