Continues the authority of the commissioner of education, in conjunction with the office of the state comptroller, to exempt discretionary grants to school districts, public schools, boards of cooperative educational services, public colleges and universities, public libraries, municipalities and other public educational entities from the procedures for award of state contracts.
Ayes (31): DeFrancisco, Johnson, Alesi, Bonacic, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Golden, Griffo, Hannon, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Little, Marcellino, Nozzolio, Robach, Saland, Seward, Young, Krueger, Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Gianaris, Montgomery, Oppenheimer, Perkins, Rivera, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes W/R (3): Duane, Kruger, Peralta
Nays (1): Parker
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend part C of chapter 57 of the laws of 2004, relating to support of education, in relation to extending certain provisions of such chapter
PURPOSE: To extend, until June 30, 2014, the effectiveness of section 94 of Part C of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2004 as amended by Chapter 2 of the Laws of 2011 to continue the authority of the Commissioner of Education, in conjunction with the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) , to exempt discretionary grants to school districts, public schools, boards of cooperative services, public colleges and universities, public libraries, municipalities and other public educational entities from the procedures for the award of State contracts prescribed by paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of § 112 of the State Finance Law. Such exemption allows these discretionary grants to be paid more timely through a streamlined competitive request for proposals (RFP) award process.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill would amend subdivision 11 of section 94 of Part C of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2004, as amended by section 79 of part A of chapter 58 of the laws of 2011, to extend the effectiveness of
§71 of Part C until June 30, 2014.
Section 2 would be the effective date.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT: Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of §112 of the State Finance Law, which requires that state agency contracts in excess of $15,000 be approved by OSC through the state contract process' contains no exception for discretionary agency grants. In 2004, §71 of Part C of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2004 was enacted, which supplied authority for an exemption from state contracting requirements for school districts and various other public educational entities, the process for which was to be developed jointly between the Commissioner of Education and the Office of the State Comptroller. The result has been a streamlined competitive RFP award approval process that mimics the state contracting process except that it allows for payment without a contract. Similar to requirements stipulated in contracts approved by OSC under § 112 of the State Finance Law, the streamlined process requires educational entities to submit budgets, program goals and expenditure reports to the State Education Department (SED). However, under the provisions of subdivision 11 §94 of Part C of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2004, §71 sunsets annually on June 30, which has been extended each year in the Education, Labor and Family Assistance (ELFA) budget Article VII legislation. However, the Governor's veto of the 2010-11 ELFA Article VII bill (S.6607-B/A.9907-C) for reasons having nothing to do with continuing this exemption, resulted in the expiration of the provisions of §71 of Part C of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2004 on June 30, 2010.
The practical effect of the expiration of this exemption on SED, which administers thousands of grant payments to school districts and other public educational entities each year, and on these districts and entities, would be that SED and they would incur additional expense and staff time to complete the paperwork needed to put these grants through the state contract process. And, the time for processing these grants would be greatly lengthened, so that school districts and other entities that receive them would have to wait many months longer than previously to receive their funds. Delays in the timely awards of discretionary grants supported by federal funds are particularly problematic, as they potentially could result in the loss or lapse of these funds since the timeframes in which these funds must be disbursed are dictated by the federal grant awards and federal law. The consequence for school districts, public schools, BOCES, public colleges and universities, public libraries, municipalities and other public educational entities would be additional costs, delays in the receipt of grant funds and the risk of loss of these funds should an appropriation lapse or grant expire prior to completion of the state contracting process.
Grant programs affected by the termination of the contracting exemption, in additional to complex RTTT grants, exemplified by the Graduate-level Teacher Prep Pilot program, include: McKinney-Vent Homeless funding; 21st Century Community Learning Center grants; the Literacy Zone Initiative; Teachers of Tomorrow grants; Extended Day/School Violence grants; library construction funding; local government records management incentive grants; and family literacy library grants. During the current fiscal crisis school districts and other educational entities are likely to have reduced their administrative staffs as well and may lack the resources necessary to administer the additional requirements related to the state contracting process. The budgets of educational entities that are expecting these grant funds to be paid timely will be adversely affected if the statutory exemption is not extended. In anticipation of continued staffing shortages and fiscal constraint, the Commissioner's authority to exempt these discretionary contracts and grants from state contracting requirements should be extended to at least June 30, 2015,which will help to assure that the budgets of educational entities will not be adversely affected in the immediate future as a result of another inadvertent failure to extend this exemption. This bill would rectify this situation by extending the effectiveness of §71 of Part C of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2004 far one additional year, as proposed by the Legislature in A.9707-C/S.6607-B and endorsed by the Governor in his 2010-11 Executive Budget proposal. Discretionary grants to school districts and other educational entities do not involve the same considerations as procurement of goods and services at the best price or value. Unlike procurement contracts, the goal of discretionary grants is implementation of the policy embedded in the statute or appropriation language, not to secure the best price or value for the State. The authority to exempt discretionary education grants from the state contracting requirements should be continued for the benefit of school districts and other public educational entities and to create efficiency and cost effectiveness for the State.
BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: This bill would not create any additional cost to the State, school districts or other educational entities. It would result in cost savings to the State, school districts, public schools, BOCES, public colleges and universities, public libraries and other public educational entities by eliminating unnecessary administrative expense and preventing significant delays in the payment of grants,
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None. This is a new proposal as a separate bill, though identical language was proposed in §43 of Part A of S.6607-B/A.9707-C and Part A of S.2/A.2 for the December Extraordinary Session.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately, and the bill would be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after June 30, 2011, when authority for the exemption expired.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3418--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 18, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education -- reported favorably from said committee and committed to the Committee on Finance -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend part C of chapter 57 of the laws of 2004, relating to support of education, in relation to extending certain provisions of such chapter THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 11 of section 94 of part C of chapter 57 of the laws of 2004, relating to support of education, as amended by section 79 of part A of chapter 58 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: 11. section seventy-one of this act shall expire and be deemed repealed June 30,
2014; S 2. This act shall take effect immediately, except if this act shall have become a law on or after June 30, 2011, this act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after June 30, 2011.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08460-06-1