Bill S264A-2009

Directs the law revision commission to make recommendations to the legislature concerning proposed revisions to laws that relate to local government

Directs the law revision commission to make recommendations to the legislature concerning proposed revisions to laws that relate to local government.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 18, 2010: SUBSTITUTED BY A699A
  • Jun 18, 2010: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.969
  • Jun 15, 2010: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Apr 14, 2010: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 15, 2010: PRINT NUMBER 264A
  • Jan 15, 2010: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • May 13, 2009: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 7, 2009: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Local Government - Apr 14, 2010
Ayes (7): Stewart-Cousins, Oppenheimer, Valesky, Johnson C, Little, Bonacic, Morahan
Ayes W/R (1): Thompson

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S264A

TITLE OF BILL : An act to direct the law revision commission to make recommendations to the legislature concerning proposed revisions to the general city law, the town law, the county law, the village law, the general municipal law, the local finance law and any related statutes

PURPOSE : To direct the Law Review Commission to examine the existing statutes which govern local governments and offer recommendations to the Legislature.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1 - states the legislature hereby finds and declares it to be the policy of the state that the present statutory structure of the laws which relate to local government have evolved in an disorganized manner, contain overlapping statutory provisions, contain outdated provisions, and that there is a need for a new state policy on local government organization.

Section 2 - directs the law revision commission to review all the general laws that relate to local government, determine the effectiveness of such laws, and to further review such laws to achieve the objectives of simplicity, ease of administration, fairness and equity. The commission is to make recommendations to the Legislature for such action, including proposed revision of such laws, as it deems appropriate.

Section 3 - requires the commission to make a report to the Governor and Legislature of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations no later than December 1, 2011.

Section 4 - contains the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION : The State Legislature in the case of the State's local governments, has enacted general consolidated laws that empower local governments. The last complete review of all the laws was in 1909. The County Law was last revised in 1950, the Town Law in 1932 and the Village Law in 1972. The General City Law and the General Municipal Law have not been completely revised since 1909.

The question arises whether the present law and structure of local government has kept pace with emerging technology and demographic shifts as well as the evolving need for more services for our citizens.

It is the responsibility of the State Legislature to insure that the general laws under which municipalities operate are clear, concise and make sense in the 21st century. The local general consolidated laws have been amended thousands of times in the last 30 years often to make exceptions for a certain municipality to exercise a certain power that is not provided in the general statutes and which cannot be done under home rule authority. This patchwork approach has created a number of legal anomalies. For example, a small city with a population of less than 10,000 might have more power in certain areas of service than a large suburban town that has a population eight times as large. While a city or a village can establish its own fire department, a town cannot. Towns also cannot set their own speed limits, but village can within certain limitations.

The Law Revision Commission was created by the State Legislature in 1934. The role of the Commission is to examine the existing law the purposes of discovering defects and anachronisms and recommending to the Legislature needed reforms, by integrating the ideas of government officials as well as all interested persons including bar associations and academics. It would be the appropriate agency to review any state laws.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2009: Reported and Recommitted to Finance 2007/08: S.1099-A; A.11386 Ways & Means 2006: S.6286 Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 264--A 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sens. LITTLE, STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government -- recommitted to the Committee on Local Government in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT to direct the law revision commission to make recommendations to the legislature concerning proposed revisions to the general city law, the town law, the county law, the village law, the general municipal law, the local finance law and any related statutes THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The legislature hereby finds and declares it to be the policy of the state that the present statutory structure of general laws that relate to local government have evolved in a disorganized manner, contain overlapping statutory provisions, contain outdated provisions that fail to meet the needs and goals presented by the challenges of the twenty-first century and that there is a need for a new state policy on local government organization. The last time any general law as it relates to local government was completely revised was the village law in 1972. The budgetary pressures placed on all forms of local government require a revision of the general powers that relate to the delivery of services to their citizens in a fair and financially responsible manner. In addition, the body of general laws that relate to local government, including but not limited to, the general city law, the town law, the county law, the village law, the general municipal law and the local finance law, is, in many instances, confusing to local public officers and the citizens of the state and contrary to the principles of simplic- ity, ease of administration, fairness and equity. S 2. The law revision commission is hereby directed to:
(a) review all the general laws that relate to local government and the way they are administered to determine the effectiveness of such laws in achieving state policy goals, within the parameters of the municipal home rule law, and to further review such laws to achieve the objectives of simplicity, ease of administration, fairness and equity; and (b) make recommendations to the legislature for such action, including proposed revision of such laws, as it determines is appropriate. S 3. The law revision commission shall make a report to the governor and the legislature of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations no later than December 1, 2011, and shall submit with its report such legislative proposals as it deems necessary to implement its reports. S 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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