Authorizes the Horseheads central school district to use excess employee benefit accrued liability reserve funds for certain purposes.
BILL NUMBER: S5303
TITLE OF BILL : An act in relation to authorizing the Horseheads central school district to use excess employee benefit accrued liability reserve funds for certain purposes
PURPOSE : To allow the Horseheads central school district to use the excess employee benefit fund for certain purposes.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : This bill authorizes the Horseheads central school district to uses excess EBALR funds to retire short term and long term debt of the school district, pay one time non-recurring expenses and/or establish a tax rebate program to return such excess EBALR funds to the taxpayers of the school district.
JUSTIFICATION : In August of 2008, the Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability provided the results of an audit of the Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserve Funds (EBALR). School Districts can create EBALR's under Section 6-p of the General Municipal Law and use them to pay employees for accrued leave time due to them when they leave district employment.
For the year ended June 30, 2007, 421 school districts statewide reported balances totaling $837.6 million, and current and long term liabilities for EBALR - related costs of $58.2 million and $638.4 million respectively. Horseheads Central School District was one of 19 school districts that were the target of the report that had excess reserve funds. Currently, there are legal restrictions on how the districts can use the money and the Comptrollers report concluded that it will require legislative approval to remove the funds from the reserves and use them to for productive purposes, such as paying off debt or financing non-recurring expenses.
In 2008 the Comptroller advanced two different proposals in the Legislature to provide school districts with the legal mechanism to remedy this circumstance. They were not acted upon. As such, this bill seeks the appropriate and necessary changes to the law to give Horseheads Central School District the ability to address the issues in the Comptroller's audit.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 5303 A. 7869 2009-2010 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y April 27, 2009 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. WINNER -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. O'MARA -- read once and referred to the Committee on Education AN ACT in relation to authorizing the Horseheads central school district to use excess employee benefit accrued liability reserve funds for certain purposes THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Horseheads central school district, which was in part, the subject of an audit conducted by the state comptroller of employee benefit accrued liability reserve (EBALR) funds for the period beginning July 1, 2002 and ending June 30, 2007, and which, according to the findings of such audit, has an excess of EBALR funds, is hereby authorized to use such excess EBALR funds to: retire short-term and long-term debt of such school district; pay one-time non-recurring expenses of such school district; and/or establish a tax rebate program to return such excess EBALR funds to the taxpayers of such school district. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11403-01-9