Bill S4491-2011

Relates to chief administrative officers, staff and office allocations, introduction of legislation and continuity of legislative sessions

Relates to chief administrative officers, staff and office allocations, introduction of legislation and continuity of legislative sessions.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • Apr 7, 2011: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4491

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the legislative law, in relation to chief administrative officers, staff and office allocations, introduction of legislation and continuity of legislative sessions

PURPOSE: To improve the operations of the Legislature of the State of New York and create a fair, statutory system of operating the Legislature.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1:

Provides for the appointment of a chief administrative officer of the Senate and Assembly who shall have the day to day management and control of all administrative officers of the senate and assembly and who shall jointly have control of the joint offices established by this legislation. The chief administrative officer shall conduct herself or himself in a non-partisan manner, affording to all Members of the Senate and Assembly equal treatment and equal access to administrative services of the legislature.

Provides that the following administrative services shall be combined between the Senate and Assembly: human resources such as personnel hiring, benefits management, and payroll; media services; research; mail; technology; contracting; other non-public policy related offices.

Provides that employment positions in those shared administrative areas shall be assigned titles in consultation with the Department of Civil Service and qualifications and testing procedures for such positions. Provides that incumbent employees shall receive titles most compatible with their existing positions and shall pass a test within four years (and score in the top 3 persons to take such test), or forfeit their position.

Provides that Members of the Senate and Assembly shall be afforded equal staffing allocations (equal within each house of the Legislature) except that the Senate Majority Leader, Minority leader, and Deputy Majority Leader for Legislative Operations and Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate; and the Assembly Speaker, Assembly Majority leader, Assembly Minority leader and Assembly Deputy Minority Leader shall receive an additional amount. Provides that committees shall hire staff upon the recommendation of the Chairperson in amounts allocated to each Committee by the Assembly Speaker or Temporary President of the Senate (and provides that the Ranking Minority Member of each Committee shall be able to hire a staff person in the amount of $50,000 per committee, or not less than 1/3 of the Committee budget allocated to the Chairperson of the Committee, whichever is greater).

Provides that there shall be a policy for the location of District and satellite offices based on defined geographic criteria.

Provides that legislation shall be introduced by a Member of the Legislature or by the Committee on Rules upon the request of one or more named, particular Members of the Legislature.

Provides that notice shall be posted on the Senate and Assembly websites of all legislation to be considered at least 24 hours in advance of its consideration (unless a message of necessity has been issued).

Provides, if "member items" exist, they shall be equally allocated by each Member of the Senate or Assembly (equal within each House of the Legislature).

Provides that petitions to discharge legislation to the floor for a vote shall be maintained by the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the Assembly; and upon a majority of Members of the Senate or Assembly signing such petition, the bill shall be voted on within a week; or, if the requisite number of signatures are obtained between June 25 and December 10, within twenty weeks but in any event by the end of the calendar year. Provides that signatures made after September first in even numbered years do not count.

Section 2:

Provides that if a bill passes in the first year of the two year Legislative term, it shall be sent to the appropriate committee in the other House for action on such bill, where that House may act on the bill at any time during the remainder of the biennial Legislative Session. Provides that a bill which is reported by a Standing Committee and is on the floor of the Legislature, may be acted on anytime during the two-year legislative session (unless the bill shall have been amended, in which case such bill may be referred back to a Standing Committee for reconsideration).

Section 3. Effective Date.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: This legislation would help ensure that any person elected to the New York State Legislature is not impeded by poor legislative process, from addressing the basic requirements of their job: answering constituent inquiries and actively participating in the legislative process. It would substantially empower "rank and file" members and statutorily put in place minimum legal standards for the allocation of funds to hire staff, while creating basic requirements persons must meet to hold jobs in the New York State Legislature.

JUSTIFICATION:

Every two years, many sincere, competent people are elected to serve in the Legislature, only to become (in actuality or perception), part of a process where Legislative leaders have the legal tools to control all substantial debate; and rank and file members can lose the ability to effectively advocate for their constituency, simply by speaking out against the status quo.

An opportunity must be genuinely provided to all Legislators Majority and Minority alike, to timely address constituent concerns; and advance legislation from introduction to law, by advocating for the same on the merits, and ending the ability of the leadership to stop ideas worthy of debate and consideration from ever being heard.

This legislation also does for both the Senate and Assembly, what many Legislators have sought to have local governments and State agencies do: create efficiencies and shared services when possible. It seeks to hold the Legislature to the same standards of fairness and government efficiency that the Legislature and the State's agencies seek to impute to others through the making of laws and rules.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: By combining administrative services, this proposal will save taxpayer money.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The first day of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law, provided that the Senate and Assembly shall, by concurrent resolution, adopt rules necessary to implement this act within twenty days after such act shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4491 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 7, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. BONACIC -- 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 chief administrative officers, staff and office allocations, introduction of legislation and continuity of legislative sessions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The legislative law is amended by adding three new sections 33-a, 33-b, and 33-c to read as follows: S 33-A. CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS. 1. THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY SHALL DESIGNATE A CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OF EACH HOUSE. SUCH CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER SHALL BE KNOWN IN THE SENATE AS THE SECRE- TARY OF THE SENATE. SUCH CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER SHALL BE KNOWN IN THE ASSEMBLY AS THE CLERK OF THE ASSEMBLY. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER SHALL HAVE DAY TO DAY MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF ALL ADMINISTRA- TIVE OFFICES OF SENATE AND ASSEMBLY AND SHALL JOINTLY HAVE CONTROL OF JOINT OFFICES ESTABLISHED BY THIS SECTION. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER SHALL CONDUCT HERSELF OR HIMSELF IN A NON-PARTISAN MANNER, AFFORDING TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY EQUAL TREATMENT AND EQUAL ACCESS TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES OF THE LEGISLATURE. 2. THE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES OF THE LEGISLATURE SHALL BE COMBINED AND MANAGED JOINTLY BY THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS. ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES INCLUDE SERVICES RELATED TO (A) HUMAN RESOURCES SUCH AS PERSON- NEL HIRING, BENEFITS MANAGEMENT, AND PAYROLL; (B) MEDIA SERVICES INCLUD- ING AUDIO, VIDEO, PRINT DESIGN AND PRODUCTION; (C) RESEARCH; (D) MAIL TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE; (E) TECHNOLO- GY; (F) CONTRACTING; (G) SUCH OTHER SERVICES AS ARE NECESSARY TO ADMIN- ISTER THE BUSINESS OF THE LEGISLATURE AND DO NOT RELATE TO POLICIES OF LAW DEVELOPMENT. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SHALL, IN CONSULTA- TION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE ESTABLISH A LISTING OF TITLES
FOR POSITIONS IN THE AREAS PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SUBDIVISION AND QUALI- FICATIONS AND TESTING PROCEDURES FOR THE SAME. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER SHALL ANNUALLY REPORT TO THE COMPTROLLER THE TITLES FILLED AND THE RANK ON EXAMS, WHICH ARE HEREBY DIRECTED TO BE CREATED, OF THE POSI- TIONS WHO FILLED SUCH POSITIONS. ALL INCUMBENT EMPLOYEES SHALL BE GIVEN A TITLE MOST SIMILAR TO THE POSITION HE OR SHE FILLS PRESENTLY AND SHALL SCORE IN THE TOP THREE OF PERSONS WHO TEST FOR THE POSITIONS, WITHIN THE FIRST FOUR YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, OR HE OR SHE SHALL FORFEIT THEIR POSITION AT THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR WHEN THE THIRD SUCH EXAM IS GIVEN. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SHALL CAUSE THE EXAMS TO BE GIVEN AT LEAST ANNUALLY FOR EACH POSITION, STARTING ONE YEAR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. S 33-B. STAFF AND OFFICE ALLOCATIONS. 1. EACH MEMBER OF THE SENATE, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, SHALL BE ALLOWED AN EQUAL ALLOCATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF HIRING STAFF. SUCH ALLOCATION SHALL BE KNOWN AS THE "BASIC ALLOCATION". NOTWITHSTANDING SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION: THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE SHALL RECEIVE TWO HUNDRED PERCENT OF SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION; THE DEPUTY MAJORITY LEADER FOR LEGISLATIVE OPERATIONS AND THE MINORITY LEADER, WHO SHALL EACH RECEIVE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION. EACH MEMBER OF THE ASSEM- BLY, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SECTION, SHALL BE ALLOWED AN EQUAL ALLOCATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF HIRING STAFF. SUCH ALLOCATION SHALL BE KNOWN AS THE "BASIC ALLOCATION". NOTWITHSTANDING SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION: THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL RECEIVE TWO HUNDRED PERCENT OF SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION; THE MAJORITY LEADER AND THE MINORITY LEADER SHALL EACH RECEIVE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF SUCH BASIC ALLOCATION. 2. THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEM- BLY SHALL EACH ALLOCATE FUNDS TO COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS FOR THE PURPOSES OF HIRING STAFF, WHO SHALL BE HIRED UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE CHAIRPERSON. THE RANKING MINORITY MEMBER OF EACH COMMITTEE SHALL ALSO RECEIVE AN ALLOCATION TO HIRE STAFF IN AN AMOUNT OF AT LEAST FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, OR ONE-THIRD OF THE AMOUNT ALLOCATED TO HIRE STAFF BY THE CHAIRPERSON, WHICHEVER IS GREATER. SUCH FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLAR AMOUNT SHALL BE SUBJECT TO INCREASE OR DECREASE BASED UPON THE SAME PERCENTAGES AS ANY INCREASE OR DECREASE IN PERSONNEL SERVICES FOR THE SENATE OR ASSEMBLY. EACH COMMITTEE SHALL BE ALLOCATED A REASONABLE AMOUNT TO HIRE STAFF WITH EXPERTISE IN THE AREAS OF LAW THOSE COMMITTEES ARE RESPONSI- BLE FOR OVERSIGHT THEREOF. 3. THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL ESTABLISH POLICIES FOR THE PROVISION OF DISTRICT OFFICE(S) FOR MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE. SUCH POLICIES SHALL PROVIDE FOR MORE THAN ONE DISTRICT OFFICE, THE SMALLER OF WHICH SHALL BE KNOWN AS A SATELLITE OFFICE, UPON THE DISTRICT OF SUCH MEMBER MEETING CERTAIN DEFINED, SPECIFIC GEOGRAPHIC CRITERIA, TO BE DETERMINED BY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE LEGISLATURE. 33-C. INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION. 1. LEGISLATION SHALL ONLY BE INTRO- DUCED AT THE REQUEST OF A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE, OR BY A COMMITTEE BY VOTE OF THAT COMMITTEE VOTING TO INTRODUCE A BILL DRAFT BY LEGISLA- TURE BILL DRAFT NUMBER. THE COMMITTEE ON RULES MAY INTRODUCE LEGIS- LATION, HOWEVER, AT THE REQUEST OF ONE OR MORE MEMBERS IF SUCH MEMBER'S NAMES ARE PRINTED ON THE LEGISLATION INDICATING THAT THE COMMITTEE ON RULES HAS REQUESTED THE INTRODUCTION OF SUCH LEGISLATION BY THE PARTIC- ULAR MEMBER OR MEMBERS. 2. NOTICE SHALL BE POSTED ON THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY WEBSITES OF ALL LEGISLATION TO BE CONSIDERED, BY BILL NUMBER, AT LEAST TWENTY-FOUR HOURS
PRIOR TO ITS CONSIDERATION, UNLESS A MESSAGE OF NECESSITY HAS BEEN ISSUED BY THE GOVERNOR FOR SUCH LEGISLATION. 3. TO THE EXTENT THAT ITEMS ARE APPROPRIATED IN THE STATE BUDGET FOR SPECIFIC ORGANIZATIONS OR MUNICIPALITIES AND ARE APPROPRIATED OTHER THAN BY FORMULA, AND AT THE SPECIFIC DISCRETION AND REQUEST OF MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE, AND RELATED TO PROJECTS NOT BENEFITING THE ENTIRE STATE, BUT RATHER ARE FOCUSED ON HELPING ONE OR MORE SPECIFIC MUNICIPALITIES OR ORGANIZATIONS, SUCH FUNDING SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE A "MEMBER ITEM". MEMBER ITEMS ARE HEREBY PROHIBITED UNLESS EACH MEMBER OF THE SENATE AND EACH MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECOMMEND AND HAVE INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET PROJECTS EQUALING THE SAME COST AS EVERY OTHER MEMBER OF THE SENATE OR EVERY OTHER MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY, AS THE CASE MAY BE. NO MEMBER OF THE SENATE OR ASSEMBLY, HOWEVER, SHALL BE ALLOCATED MEMBER ITEM FUNDING IF THEY PRESENTLY ARE CHARGED WITH A CRIME RELATING TO THIS OFFICE OR OTHERWISE RELATING TO VERACITY. 4. THE SECRETARY OF THE SENATE AND CLERK OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL MAIN- TAIN DISCHARGE PETITIONS, TO BE STORED IN THE WELL OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY. A DISCHARGE PETITION SHALL BE A PETITION REQUESTING A VOTE ON A PARTICULAR PIECE OF LEGISLATION OR RESOLUTION BY BILL OR RESOLUTION NUMBER. THE DISCHARGE PETITION SHALL BE FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE SENATE OR CLERK OF THE ASSEMBLY BY THE BILL OR RESOLUTION SPONSOR. ALL SUCH PETITIONS SHALL BE OPEN FOR SIGNATURE DURING THE HOURS THE LEGISLA- TURE IS IN SESSION. UPON MORE THAN HALF THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE OR ASSEMBLY SIGNING A DISCHARGE PETITION, SUCH LEGISLATION OR RESOLUTION SHALL BE DISCHARGED FROM ANY COMMITTEE IT IS IN, AND BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE OR ASSEMBLY FOR A VOTE WITHIN ONE WEEK, OR, IF THE REQUISITE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES ARE OBTAINED BETWEEN THE DATES OF JUNE TENTH AND SEPTEMBER FIRST, WITHIN TWENTY WEEKS, BUT IN ANY EVENT BY THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR. NO SIGNATURE MADE BETWEEN SEPTEMBER FIRST OF AN EVEN NUMBER CALENDAR YEAR AND DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, OF THAT SAME YEAR SHALL COUNT TOWARD REACHING THE MAJORITY DESCRIBED HEREIN. S 2. The legislative law is amended by adding a new section 42-a to read as follows: S 42-A. CONTINUITY OF LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS. 1. UPON PASSAGE OF A BILL BY ONE HOUSE OF THE LEGISLATURE, SUCH BILL SHALL AUTOMATICALLY BE SENT TO THE APPROPRIATE COMMITTEE IN THE OTHER HOUSE FOR ACTION ON SUCH BILL, WHERE THAT HOUSE MAY ACT ON THE BILL AT ANY TIME DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE BIENNIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION. 2. EVERY BILL WHICH SHALL HAVE REACHED THE ORDER OF THIRD READING BUT WHICH SHALL NOT HAVE BEEN ACTED ON BY THE HOUSE BEFORE THE END OF THE FIRST YEAR OF THE TWO-YEAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION, SHALL MAINTAIN ITS PLACE ON THE ORDER OF THIRD READING UNTIL THE HOUSE SHALL ACT ON SUCH BILL OR UNTIL THE END OF THE TWO-YEAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION. 3. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO BUDGET BILLS INTRODUCED BY THE GOVERNOR PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SEVEN OF THE CONSTITUTION, BILLS REQUIRING A HOME RULE MESSAGE FROM ONE OR MORE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS PURSUANT TO ARTICLE NINE OF THE CONSTITUTION, BILLS WHICH APPROPRIATE PUBLIC FUNDS, OR CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS TO AMEND THE CONSTI- TUTION PURSUANT TO ARTICLE NINETEEN OF THE CONSTITUTION OR BILLS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION FIFTY OF THIS ARTICLE. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, that the senate and assembly shall, by concurrent resolution, adopt rules neces- sary to implement this act within twenty days after such act shall have become a law.

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