Forfeits per diem payments to members of the legislature when the budget is not passed by April 1.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the legislative law, in relation to eliminating per diem payments to members of the legislature when the legislature has not passed a budget by the first day of the fiscal year
PURPOSE: An act to amend the legislative law, in relation to eliminating per diem payments to members of the legislature when the legislature has not passed a budget by the first day of the fiscal year.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends subdivision 2 of section 5 of the legislative law to provide that members of the legislature shall permanently forfeit per diem payments for any days after the first day of the fiscal year in which the legislature has failed to pass a budget as defined in subdivision 3 of section 5.
Section 2 relates to the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The New York State Legislature has failed to pass an on time budget on numerous occasions in recent years. Most recently in 2010 when the state budget was 125 days late, but additionally in 2004 when the budget was 133 days late, and 1997 and 1999 when the budget was 126 days late. In addition, from 1985-2010 there have only been 3 occasions when the State Legislature has passed an on time budget.
Late budgets negatively impact many areas of the state, including: delays in greatly needed infrastructure and development projects, uncertainty in revenue and spending policy, interruptions in vital services, and increased expense to New York State taxpayers.
Members of the legislature should not benefit financially from late budgets, and the taxpayers should not have to bare any additional expenses from late budgets. To help rectify this problem, legislators should not be eligible for per diem payments for any days in which the state budget is late. This would prevent any personal financial gain for members of the legislature during a late budget process. Currently the per diem rate is $171 for every full day in Albany; this can translate to roughly $36,252 in state spending for each additional day members of the legislature are in session due to a late budget.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE STATE: None when the budget is passed on time. However, there would be a cost savings to the state in the event that the budget is late.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4236 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 24, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the legislative law, in relation to eliminating per diem payments to members of the legislature when the legislature has not passed a budget by the first day of the fiscal year THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 5 of the legislative law, as amended by section 1 of part M-1 of chapter 407 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: 2. Each member of the legislature shall receive payment of actual and necessary transportation expenses and a per diem equivalent to the most recent federal per diem rates published by the General Services Adminis- tration and set forth in 41 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 301, App. A, while in travel status in the performance of his or her duties; and such other reasonable expenses as may be necessary for the perform- ance of the member's responsibilities as determined by the temporary president of the senate or speaker of the assembly for their respective houses PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IF LEGISLATIVE PASSAGE OF THE BUDGET, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION, HAS NOT OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF ANY FISCAL YEAR, ANY SUCH PER DIEM PAYMENTS TO BE PAID ON OR AFTER SUCH DAY SHALL BE PERMANENTLY FORFEITED BY SUCH MEMBERS FROM THE FIRST DAY OF THE FISCAL YEAR UNTIL THE DAY THAT THE LEGISLATURE PASSES THE BUDGET. MEMBERS SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE PER DIEM PAYMENTS FOR ANY DAYS WORKED AFTER SUCH PASSAGE. The per diem allow- ances, including partial per diem allowances, shall be made pursuant to regulations promulgated by the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly for their respective houses, on audit and warrant of the comptroller on vouchers approved by the temporary presi-EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10070-03-1 S. 4236 2
dent of the senate or his or her designee and the speaker of the assem- bly or his or her designee for their respective houses. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.