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.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the public library construction grant program; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
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 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.
Subdivisions two and three of section 273-a are amended to require that applications submitted which request state aid in an amount greater than fifty percent must submit documentation demonstrating how the project will address the service needs of one or more economically disadvantaged communities. In approving any application that would receive state aid beyond fifty percent of the total project costs, the board of trustees of the library system shall give particular attention to addressing the library service needs of economically disadvantaged communities.
A new subdivision 7 is added to require the commissioner to submit a report.
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.
Same as S.4248-B of 2009-10 A.6155-D, of 2009-10.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: On the first of April next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law, and shall expire on March 31, 2015.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4101--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 17, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. FARLEY, ADDABBO, DeFRANCISCO, GRIFFO, HANNON, JOHN- SON, LARKIN, LAVALLE, MAZIARZ, RANZENHOFER, SEWARD, VALESKY, ZELDIN -- 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 the education law, in relation to the public library construction grant program; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 273-a of the education law, as amended by chapter 572 of the laws of 2003, subdivision 1 as amended by section 4 of part A of chapter 57 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 273-a. State aid for library construction. 1. 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 legisla- ture subject to the limitations provided in subdivision
[four]FIVE of this section and upon approval by the commissioner, EXCEPT THAT STATE AID MAY 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. 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,EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00907-03-1 S. 4101--A 2
whichever occurs first. Fifty percent of such aid shall be payable to each system or library upon approval of the application BY THE DEPART- MENT. Forty percent of such aid shall be payable in the next state fiscal year. The remaining ten percent shall be payable upon project completion. 2. Each application for state aid shall be submitted by the board of trustees of the library or library system responsible for the operation of the subject building to the commissioner for his review and approval, after having been reviewed and approved by the governing board of the public library system of which such library is a member. Each applica- tion shall: a. demonstrate that resources are or shall be available to provide for maximum utilization of the project if approved; b. contain verification in such form as may be acceptable to the commissioner that the total cost of the project, exclusive of state aid, has been or will be obtained; c. demonstrate that library operations would be made more economical as a consequence of approval; d. be limited to one project concerning such building, provided that no building shall be the subject of more than one application per year;
[and]e. CONTAIN DOCUMENTATION, WHERE SUCH AN APPLICATION REQUESTS STATE AID IN AN AMOUNT GREATER THAN FIFTY PERCENT, DEMONSTRATING HOW THE PROJECT WILL ADDRESS THE SERVICE NEEDS OF ONE OR MORE ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES. SUCH DOCUMENTATION MAY DEMONSTRATE NEED THROUGH POVERTY RATES, CONCENTRATIONS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS, LOW HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES, LIMITED FISCAL CAPACITY OR OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS; AND F. provide such other information as may be required by the commis- sioner. 3. IN APPROVING ANY APPLICATION THAT WOULD RECEIVE STATE AID BEYOND FIFTY PERCENT OF THE TOTAL PROJECT APPROVED COSTS, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE LIBRARY SYSTEM SHALL GIVE PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO ADDRESSING THE LIBRARY SERVICE NEEDS OF ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES AS PROVIDED FOR IN PARAGRAPH E OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION. 4. In approving any application the commissioner shall consider the condition of existing libraries and, where appropriate, the needs of isolated or economically disadvantaged communities, provided that no application shall be approved for a project that is deemed by the commissioner to have been completed prior to the date of the applica- tion. [4.]5. Aid shall be distributed pursuant to this section as follows: a. sixty percent of the funds appropriated pursuant to this section shall be made available to libraries within each system by the commis- sioner in such manner as to insure that the ratio of the amount received within each system to the whole of the aid made available pursuant to this paragraph is no greater than the ratio of the population served by such system to the population of the state; b. forty percent of the funds appropriated pursuant to this section shall be made available to library systems or libraries within each system by the commissioner in such manner as to insure that an equal amount is received within each system in the state; c. any funds made available pursuant to paragraph a or b of this subdivision which by April first of each succeeding fiscal year, are declined by such libraries or library systems for any reason, or which cannot otherwise be used by such libraries or library systems for any reason, shall be made available by the commissioner to other eligibleS. 4101--A 3
libraries within such system, or if no such library can use such funds shall be reallocated among the other library systems and their libraries in a manner that will to the extent possible provide from such reallo- cated funds an equal amount to each such system.
[5.]6. The commissioner shall adopt rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this section. 7. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL SUBMIT TO THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY AN ANNUAL REPORT DESCRIBING THOSE PROJECTS THAT HAVE RECEIVED STATE FUNDING OF GREATER THAN FIFTY PERCENT OF PROJECT COSTS AND THE COMMUNITIES TO BE SERVED BY THOSE PROJECTS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law and shall expire and be deemed repealed March 31, 2015.