Relates to state aid for library projects construction grant program; increases state aid to up to 75% of total costs if the buildings are located in an economically disadvantaged community; provides acquisition of vacant land be considered an approved cost; provides that the application for state aid include documentation demonstrating that the project will address the needs of geographically isolated or economically disadvantaged communities; provides for an annual report on the library projects be submitted to the legislature.
Ayes (17): Flanagan, Farley, Lanza, LaValle, Marcellino, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Seward, Oppenheimer, Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Montgomery, Serrano, Stavisky, Huntley
Ayes W/R (1): Saland
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to state aid for library projects
PURPOSE: This legislation would amend section 273-a of the education law to enable more public libraries to utilize the state construction grant program.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends subdivision one of subdivision four of section 273-a of the education law. Subdivision one of section 273-a is amended to include the acquisition of vacant land within the scope of construction projects that shall receive state aid. Subdivision one is amended further to allow libraries that serve economically disadvantaged communities to be eligible to receive state aid for up to seventy-five percent of the approved total project costs, provided that the state liability for aid paid pursuant to this section shall be limited to funds appropriated for such purpose. This section also sets forth the criteria to be used to determine whether a community is economically disadvantaged for the purposes of this section.
Section two provides the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The Public Library construction Grant program currently provides $14 million in bonded funds to public libraries and library systems throughout the state for renovation and construction projects. The matching requirements of 50/50 are too onerous for libraries in high-needs areas of the state to meet. This legislation would lower the matching threshold to 75/25 for public libraries in economically disadvantaged communities, making it easier for these libraries to receive much-needed construction grants. This legislation would also permit the funds to be used to purchase vacant land, which is not currently permitted.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Same as S.4248-B, 2009 and 2010 in Education A.6155-D, 2009 and 2010 in Ways and Means.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4101 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 17, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. FARLEY, DeFRANCISCO, GRIFFO, JOHNSON, LARKIN, MAZIARZ, RANZENHOFER, SEWARD, ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to state aid for library projects THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 273-a of the education law, as amended by section 4 of part A of chapter 57 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 1. A. State aid shall be provided for up to fifty percent of the total project approved costs, excluding feasibility studies, plans or similar activities, for projects for the acquisition OF VACANT LAND AND THE ACQUISITION, construction, renovation or rehabilitation, including leasehold improvements, of buildings of public libraries and library systems chartered by the regents of the state of New York or established by act of the legislature subject to the limitations provided in subdi- vision four of this section and upon approval by the commissioner, EXCEPT THAT STATE AID SHALL BE PROVIDED FOR UP TO SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL PROJECT APPROVED COSTS FOR BUILDINGS OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES THAT ARE LOCATED IN AN ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITY. B. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TERM "ECONOMICALLY DISAD- VANTAGED COMMUNITY" SHALL MEAN AT LEAST ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: (1) A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION WITHIN WHICH FIFTEEN PERCENT OR MORE OF THE POPULATION IS LIVING IN POVERTY AS SHOWN ON THE LATEST FEDERAL CENSUS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, A "POLITICAL SUBDIVISION" SHALL MEAN THE SMALLEST GEOGRAPHIC MUNICIPALITY WITHIN WHICH THE BUILD- ING IS LOCATED INCLUDING A VILLAGE, A CITY, A BOROUGH OR A TOWN WITH A POPULATION SHOWN ON THE LATEST FEDERAL CENSUS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "POVERTY" IS DEFINED AS THOSE INDIVIDUALS LIVING BELOW THEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00907-01-1 S. 4101 2
POVERTY LEVEL FOR THE POLITICAL SUBDIVISION AS SHOWN BY THE LATEST FEDERAL CENSUS. (2) A PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT WITHIN WHICH THE PERCENTAGE OF STUDENT ENROLLMENT THAT IS ELIGIBLE FOR FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH UNDER THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM IS SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT OR MORE FOR AT LEAST ONE MONTH DURING THE TWELVE MONTHS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF FILING OF THE GRANT APPLICATION TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR STATE AID UNDER THIS SUBDIVI- SION. (3) A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION AS DESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH ONE OF THIS PARAGRAPH WITHIN WHICH THIRTEEN PERCENT OR MORE OF THE POPULATION IS LIVING IN POVERTY AND A PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT AS DESCRIBED IN SUBPARA- GRAPH TWO OF THIS PARAGRAPH WITHIN WHICH THE PERCENTAGE OF STUDENT ENROLLMENT THAT IS ELIGIBLE FOR FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH UNDER THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM IS FIFTY PERCENT OR MORE. C. Provided however that the state liability for aid paid pursuant to this section shall be limited to funds appropriated for such purpose. Aid shall be provided on approved expenses incurred during the period commencing July first and ending June thirtieth for up to three years, or until the project is completed, whichever occurs first. Fifty percent of such aid shall be payable to each system or library upon approval of the application BY THE DEPARTMENT. Forty percent of such aid shall be payable in the next state fiscal year. The remaining ten percent shall be payable upon project completion. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.