Bill S5464-2011

Relates to certain powers and duties of the superintendent of banks

Relates to certain powers and duties of the superintendent of banks; authorizes the superintendent to set standards for creditworthiness for certain bonds and obligations; makes other technical amendments.

Details

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Actions

  • Jun 14, 2011: SUBSTITUTED BY A8105
  • Jun 6, 2011: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Jun 2, 2011: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Jun 1, 2011: 1ST REPORT CAL.906
  • May 24, 2011: REFERRED TO BANKS

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Banks - Jun 1, 2011
Ayes (18): Griffo, Farley, Bonacic, DeFrancisco, Gallivan, Golden, Johnson, O'Mara, Marcellino, Ranzenhofer, Smith, Breslin, Carlucci, Diaz, Krueger, Rivera, Savino, Valesky
Ayes W/R (1): Kruger

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5464

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the banking law, in relation to access to examination and investigatory reports, investment limits for banks, savings banks, references to credit rating agencies, foreign banking corporations and money transmitters, changes to the organization certificate or by-laws of a savings bank and savings and loan association and making related technical changes thereto; and to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to the disclosure of certain filings made with the superintendent of banks

PURPOSE OF BILL:

This bill amends various sections of the Banking Law ("BL") to clarify, among other things, the confidentiality of supervisory information, the treatment of credit extensions and other credit exposure by a bank or trust company to one person or entity, and the references in the banking law to credit rating agencies and rated securities.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends BL §36(10) to include examination and investigative reports of licensed mortgage loan originators among the types of reports protected by the section. It also makes certain other conforming changes.

Section 2 of the bill amends the heading of BL §103 to add the words "and other credit exposure" so that the heading of that section will more accurately reflect the scope of that section to reflect amendments relating to credit exposure resulting from derivatives and other securities transactions. Section 2 of the bill also amends BL 103(1) to delete specific references to rating agencies and rating grades and replace these references with a reference instead to investment securities that meet standards of creditworthiness established by the superintendent. Similar amendments are also made to Paragraphs (j) and (k).

Section 3 of the bill adds "control of banking institutions" to the title of Article III-A of the Banking Law. The purpose is to clearly designate that Article III-A deals with not only bank holding companies, but also control of banking institutions generally.

Section 4 of the bill amends BL §202-b(1) to make changes consistent with those made to BL §103.

Section 5 of the bill amends Subdivisions 12-a and 21-a of BL §235 to make changes consistent with those made to BL § 103.

Section 6 of the bill adds a new BL §260-a to provide for procedures for a mutual savings bank to amend its organization certificate and by-laws.

Section 7 of the bill amends BL §402 to make similar changes to the savings and loan association article.

Section 8 of the bill amends BL §640(9)(v) and (vi) to make changes consistent with those made to BL Section § 103.

Section 9 of the bill makes certain technical amendments to Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law §1306.

Section 10 of the bill provides for the effective date.

EXISTING LAW:

BL §36.10 relates to the confidential and nonpublic nature of confidential supervisory-related information.

BL § 103 relates to limits on loans and extensions of credit by a bank or trust company to a single person or entity. The section places maximum limits on exposures, whether via loans, purchases of securities, or other extensions of credit, to a single person or entity and provides various rules concerning exemptions, the effect of collateral, and the like. Currently, the title of Section 103 refers to "loans, purchases of securities and total liabilities to bank or trust company of anyone person." The title does not refer generally to "credit exposure." Paragraphs (i), (j) and (k) of BL §103(1) provide exemptions from the calculation of total credit exposure for the purchase by a bank or trust company of certain short-term bonds, debentures, notes or other obligations rated in one of the three highest rating grades by an independent rating service designated by the banking board.

Article III-A of the Banking Law is currently entitled "Bank Holding Companies".

BL §202-b(1) relates to the requirement for New York-licensed branches and agencies of foreign banks to maintain liquid assets on deposit in New York.

BL §235(12-a) designates as a permissible savings bank investment obligations of any corporation organized under the laws of any state of the United States maturing within 270 days, and which have the highest rating of an independent rating service designated by the banking board.

BL §235(21-a) designates as a permissible savings bank investment, subject to certain maximum amounts per issuer, interest-bearing obligations payable in United States funds which at the time of investment are rated in one of the three highest rating grades by each rating service, designated by the banking board, which has rated such obligations.

Currently, there is no formal procedure in the Banking Law for a mutual-form savings bank to make changes to its organization certificate or bylaws.

BL §402 provides for the amendment of the articles of association and bylaws of a savings and loan association.

BL §640(9) enumerates assets constituting "permissible investments" for purposes of the requirement in BL §651, applicable to a licensed money transmitter, which must maintain permissible investments in an amount at least equal to the amount of its outstanding payment instruments and outstanding travelers checks. Paragraphs (v) and (vi) of BL .640(9) designate two permitted categories of notes, bonds and other obligations having a rating in one of the three highest grades by a nationally recognized investment service organization that has been engaged regularly in rating such obligations for a period of not less than five years.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

This is a new bill.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:

The amendment in Section 1 of the bill would extend the confidentiality protection in BL §36(10) for examination and investigation material to cover such materials related to MLOs, to the same extent as it does for other regulated persons or entities. In order to make sure that there is no gap in coverage, the section is also amended to add "any other person or entity subject to the supervision of the department."

The bill amends BL §§ 103, 202-b, 235 and 640, which currently reference permitted investments for various types of supervised entities, as including securities having a specified rating. The amendment would eliminate references in the statute to rating agencies, in favor of standards of creditworthiness established by regulation by the Superintendent. In the recent past, the well-known rating agencies have experienced a number of failures, including failure to recognize credit problems at Enron and WorldCom, and failure to recognize the problems with mortgage-backed securities that led to rating agencies giving AA ratings to mortgage-related securities that eventually experienced high default rates. This has led to criticism of an over-reliance on ratings. On the federal level, the Dodd-Frank Act mandates that federal

statutes no longer refer to or require ratings by credit rating entities, and requires instead that the federal banking and securities regulators establish applicable standards of creditworthiness. These amendments would enable New York to follow suit, although they do not mandate a total elimination of references to rating agencies in the regulations to be adopted. Given the large number of community and regional banks in the states, it is recognized that some use of the ratings of rating agencies or other evaluations of creditworthiness, combined with a financial institution's own determinations, will provide a balanced solution to criticisms of the use of ratings alone.

The bill also amends BL § 103(1) by adding a new unnumbered paragraph at the end of such subdivision, which authorizes the Superintendent to determine the manner and extent to which credit exposure resulting from derivatives transaction, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, securities lending transactions and securities borrowing transactions must be taken into account by a bank for purposes of the lending limit. Section 610 of the Dodd-Frank Act contains similar requirements with respect to national banks; Section 611 of the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits an insured state bank from engaging in derivatives transactions unless its chartering state's law with respect to lending limits takes into consideration the credit exposure to derivative transactions. While there already exists some flexibility in the lending limit statute to interpret what constitutes credit exposure, the amendment is designed to provide certainty that New York law will comply with the requirements of the Dodd Frank Act.

Article XI of the Banking Law does not currently provide a mechanism for a mutual savings bank to amend its charter. Proposed BL §260-a would provide for such amendments, along lines that currently apply to a mutual form savings and loan association.

BL §402 is amended to make clear that any appeal of a ruling of the Superintendent regarding an amendment to the charter of a mutual savings and loan association is conducted under Article 78 of the CPLR. This conforms to the new provisions of BL .260-a.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS:

There are no budget implications from this bill.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The bill would take effect immediately upon enactment, except that sections 2, 4, 5 and 8 shall take effect only at such time as the Superintendent certifies that the Superintendent has adopted the regulations required by this act.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5464 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 24, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GRIFFO -- (at request of the Banking Department) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Banks AN ACT to amend the banking law, in relation to access to examination and investigatory reports, investment limits for banks, savings banks, references to credit rating agencies, foreign banking corporations and money transmitters, changes to the organization certificate or by-laws of a savings bank and savings and loan association and making related technical changes thereto; and to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to the disclosure of certain filings made with the superintendent of banks THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 10 of section 36 of the banking law, as amended by chapter 472 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: 10. All reports of examinations and investigations, correspondence and memoranda concerning or arising out of such examination and investi- gations, including any duly authenticated copy or copies thereof in the possession of any banking organization, bank holding company or any subsidiary thereof (as such terms "bank holding company" and "subsid- iary" are defined in article three-A of this chapter), any corporation or any other entity affiliated with a banking organization within the meaning of subdivision six of this section and any non-banking subsid- iary of a corporation or any other entity which is an affiliate of a banking organization within the meaning of subdivision six-a of this section, foreign banking corporation, licensed lender, licensed casher of checks, licensed mortgage banker, registered mortgage broker, LICENSED MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR, licensed sales finance company, registered mortgage loan servicer, licensed insurance premium finance agency, licensed transmitter of money, licensed budget planner, ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY SUBJECT TO SUPERVISION UNDER THIS CHAPTER, or the
department, shall be confidential communications, shall not be subject to subpoena and shall not be made public unless, in the judgment of the superintendent, the ends of justice and the public advantage will be subserved by the publication thereof, in which event the superintendent may publish or authorize the publication of a copy of any such report or any part thereof in such manner as may be deemed proper OR UNLESS SUCH LAWS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE SUCH DISCLOSURE. For the purposes of this subdivision, "reports of examinations and investigations, and any corre- spondence and memoranda concerning or arising out of such examinations and investigations", includes any such materials of a bank, insurance or securities regulatory agency or any unit of the federal government or that of this state any other state or that of any foreign government which are considered confidential by such agency or unit and which are in the possession of the department or which are otherwise confidential materials that have been shared by the department with any such agency or unit and are in the possession of such agency or unit. S 2. The section heading, paragraphs (i), (j), (k), and the closing paragraph of subdivision 1 of section 103 of the banking law, the section heading as amended by chapter 619 of the laws of 1937, paragraph (i) and the closing paragraph of subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 1 of the laws of 1983, paragraphs (j) and (k) of subdivision 1 as added by chapter 367 of the laws of 1997, are amended to read as follows: Restrictions on loans, purchases of securities [and], total liabil- ities AND OTHER CREDIT EXPOSURES to A bank or trust company of any one person. (i) The limitations in this subdivision shall not apply to the invest- ment of such bank or trust company in the bonds, debentures, notes or other obligations of any person, provided: (i) such bonds, debentures, notes or other obligations mature not less than one year after their respective dates of issuance, and, at the time of such investment, [are rated in one of the three highest rating grades by an independent rating service designated by the banking board] MEET THE STANDARDS OF CREDIT- WORTHINESS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION BY THE SUPERINTENDENT; (ii) such investment does not exceed fifteen per centum of the capital stock, surplus fund and undivided profits of such bank or trust company; and (iii) such investment complies with such additional limitations and conditions as the [banking board] SUPERINTENDENT from time to time may prescribe by [general] regulation. (j) In the case of a trust company which (1) does not receive deposits from the general public and (2) has been exempted by the [banking board] SUPERINTENDENT from the requirements of section thirty-two of this chap- ter, the limitations of this subdivision shall not apply to the invest- ment of such trust company in the bonds, debentures, notes or other obligations of, any foreign nation, or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, provided: (i) at the time of such invest- ment, such bonds, debentures, notes or other obligations [are rated in one of the three highest rating grades by an independent rating service designated by the banking board] MEET THE STANDARDS OF CREDITWORTHINESS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION BY THE SUPERINTENDENT; (ii) for any such bonds, debentures, notes or other obligations, the foreign nation, or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, has guar- anteed payment (by guaranty or commitment to purchase or otherwise) of such principal and interest, or is committed to supply, by loan, subsidy or otherwise, funds sufficient to pay such principal and interest, or has otherwise pledged its faith and credit for the payment of such prin- cipal and interest; (iii) such investments do not exceed the per centum
applicable to such obligor of the capital stock, surplus fund and undi- vided profits of such bank or trust company as the superintendent shall approve[,]; and (iv) such investments comply with such limitations and conditions as the superintendent may from time to time prescribe. (k) In the case of a trust company which (1) does not receive deposits from the general public and (2) has been exempted by the [banking board] SUPERINTENDENT from the requirements of section thirty-two of this chap- ter, the limitations of this subdivision shall not apply to the purchase of securities under repurchase agreement provided that the repurchase agreement relates to not less than a like amount of direct obligations (based on their principal amount or market value, whichever is lower, at the time the purchase occurs) of any foreign nation, or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, provided: (i) at the time of such purchase, such direct obligations [are rated in one of the three highest rating grades by an independent rating service designated by the banking board] MEET THE STANDARDS OF CREDITWORTHINESS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION BY THE SUPERINTENDENT; (ii) for any such direct obli- gations, the foreign nation, or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, has guaranteed payment (by guaranty or commit- ment to purchase or otherwise) of the principal and interest thereof, or is committed to supply, by loan, subsidy or otherwise, funds sufficient to pay such principal and interest, or has otherwise pledged its faith and credit for the payment of such principal and interest; (iii) the purchase price of such securities does not exceed the per centum appli- cable to the obligor of such securities of the capital stock, surplus fund and undivided profits of such bank or trust company as the super- intendent shall approve; and (iv) such purchase complies with such limi- tations and conditions as the superintendent may from time to time prescribe. The [banking board] SUPERINTENDENT shall be empowered to promulgate rules and regulations as shall be appropriate to carry out the purposes of this subdivision. THE SUPERINTENDENT ALSO SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO DETERMINE THE MANNER AND EXTENT TO WHICH CREDIT EXPOSURE RESULTING FROM DERIVATIVE TRANS- ACTIONS, REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS, REVERSE REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS, SECURI- TIES LENDING TRANSACTIONS AND SECURITIES BORROWING TRANSACTIONS SHALL BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, THE TERM "DERIVATIVE TRANSACTION" INCLUDES ANY TRANSACTION THAT IS A CONTRACT, AGREEMENT, SWAP, WARRANT, NOTE OR OPTION THAT IS BASED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, ON THE VALUE OF, ANY INTEREST IN, ANY QUANTITATIVE MEASURE OF, OR THE OCCURRENCE OF ANY EVENT RELATING TO, ONE OR MORE COMMODITIES, SECURITIES, CURRENCIES, INTEREST OR OTHER RATES, INDICES OR OTHER ASSETS. IN MAKING SUCH DETERMINATIONS, THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY, BUT IS NOT REQUIRED TO, ACT BY ORDER OR REGULATION. S 3. The article heading of article 3-A of the banking law, as added by chapter 146 of the laws of 1961, is amended to read as follows: BANK HOLDING COMPANIES; CONTROL OF BANKING INSTITUTIONS S 4. Subdivision 1 of section 202-b of the banking law, as amended by chapter 131 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows: 1. Upon opening a branch or agency and thereafter, a foreign banking corporation licensed pursuant to article two of this chapter shall keep on deposit, in accordance with such rules and regulations as the [bank- ing board] SUPERINTENDENT shall from time to time promulgate [by a three-fifths vote of all the members thereof], with such banks or trust companies or private bankers or national banks in the state of New York as such foreign banking corporation may designate and the superintendent
may approve, interest-bearing stocks and bonds, notes, debentures, or other obligations of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or guaranteed by the United States, or of this state, or of a city, county, town, village, school district, or instrumentality of this state or guaranteed by this state, or dollar deposits, or obligations of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or obli- gations issued by the Inter-American Development Bank, or obligations of the Asian Development Bank, or obligations issued by the African Devel- opment Bank, or obligations issued by the International Finance Corpo- ration, or bonds, notes, debentures, or other obligations issued by or guaranteed by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) or by the Federal National Mortgage Corporation (Fannie Mae), or bonds, notes, debentures, or other obligations issued by or guaranteed by the Student Loan Marketing Association (SALLIE MAE) or all bonds, notes, debentures, or other obligations issued by or guaranteed by a federal home loan bank, or bonds, notes, debentures or other obligations of any unaffiliated issuer [provided that, at the time of such investment, the obligation has received the highest rating of an independent rating service designated by the banking board or, if the obligation is rated by more than one such service, the highest rating of at least two such services] THAT MEET THE STANDARDS OF CREDITWORTHINESS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, or such other assets as the super- intendent shall by rule or regulation permit, to an aggregate amount to be determined by the superintendent, based upon principal amount or market value, whichever is lower, in the case of the above-described securities, and subject to such limitations as he or she shall prescribe; provided, however, that the superintendent may determine, in his or her discretion, that any such bonds, notes, debentures or other obligations of a particular issuer are not acceptable for purposes of meeting the requirements of this subdivision. The superintendent may from time to time require that the assets deposited pursuant to this subdivision may be maintained by the foreign banking corporation at such amount, in such form and subject to such conditions as he or she shall deem necessary or desirable for the maintenance of a sound financial condition, the protection of depositors and the public interest, and to maintain public confidence in the business of such branch or branches or such agency or agencies. The superintendent may give credit to reserves required to be maintained with a federal reserve bank in or outside the state of New York pursuant to federal law, subject to such rules and regulations as the superintendent may from time to time promulgate. So long as it shall continue business in the ordinary course, such foreign banking corporation shall be permitted to collect interest on the secu- rities so deposited and from time to time exchange, examine and compare such securities. S 5. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 12-a and subdivision 21-a of section 235 of the banking law, as added by chapter 674 of the laws of 1968, are amended to read as follows: (a) Obligations of any corporation organized under the laws of any state of the United States maturing within two hundred seventy days, provided that such obligations [receive the highest rating of an inde- pendent rating service designated by the banking board] MEET THE STAND- ARDS OF CREDITWORTHINESS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION BY THE SUPERINTENDENT. 21-a. Interest-bearing obligations payable in United States funds which at the time of investment [are rated in one of the three highest rating grades by each rating service, designated by the banking board,
which has rated such obligations]
MEET THE STANDARDS OF CREDITWORTHINESS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, provided that the aggregate amount invested in the obligations of any single issuer pursu- ant to this subdivision and pursuant to subparagraph (2) of paragraph (a) of subdivision twenty-one of this section may not exceed one per centum of the assets of the savings bank, and provided further that the aggregate amount invested in the interest-bearing obligations of any single issuer pursuant to this subdivision and pursuant to any provision of this section specifically authorizing such investment, may not exceed the percentage limitations contained in any such provision. S 6. The banking law is amended by adding a new section 260-a to read as follows: S 260-A. AMENDMENT OF ORGANIZATION CERTIFICATE AND BY-LAWS. ANY PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE ORGANIZATION CERTIFICATE OR THE BY-LAWS OF ANY SAVINGS BANK SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE SUPERINTENDENT AND, UPON THE SUPERINTENDENT'S WRITTEN APPROVAL THEREOF, SHALL BE POSTED IN A CONSPIC- UOUS PLACE IN THE OFFICE OF THE SAVINGS BANK FOR THIRTY DAYS. SUCH PROPOSED CHANGES MAY THEREAFTER BE INCORPORATED IN THE ORGANIZATION CERTIFICATE OR THE BY-LAWS OF THE SAVINGS BANK BY BEING DULY ADOPTED BY ITS TRUSTEES. A COPY OF SUCH CHANGE SHALL BE FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER SUCH ADOPTION. S 7. Section 402 of the banking law, as amended by chapter 849 of the laws of 1964, is amended to read as follows: S 402. Amendment of articles of association and by-laws[; application to supreme court]. [1.] Any proposed change in the articles of associ- ation, certificate of association, organization certificate or the by-laws of any savings and loan association shall be submitted to the superintendent and, upon the superintendent's written approval thereof, shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the office of the association for thirty days. Such proposed changes may thereafter be incorporated in the articles of association, certificate of association, organization certificate or the by-laws of the association by being duly adopted by its directors. A copy of such change shall be filed in the office of the superintendent within thirty days after such adoption. [2. Any association may, upon notice to the superintendent, apply to any justice of the supreme court of the district wherein the principal office of such association is located, for a review of the superinten- dent's refusal to approve any proposed change in its articles of associ- ation, certificate of association, organization certificate or by-laws. Any proposed change approved by such court may be incorporated in the articles of association, certificate of association, organization certificate or the by-laws of such association by being duly adopted by its directors. A copy of such change shall be filed in the office of the superintendent within thirty days after such adoption.] S 8. Paragraphs (v) and (vi) of subdivision 9 of section 640 of the banking law, as added by chapter 374 of the laws of 1979, are amended to read as follows: (v) interest-bearing bills, notes, bonds, debentures or other obli- gations issued or guaranteed by the United States or any state or other local governmental entity or any agent or instrumentality thereof, [bearing a rating of one of the three highest grades by a nationally recognized investment service organization that has been engaged regu- larly in rating state and municipal issues for a period of not less than five years] WHICH MEET THE STANDARDS OF CREDITWORTHINESS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION BY THE SUPERINTENDENT;
(vi) interest-bearing bills, notes, bonds, debentures or preferred stock traded on any national securities exchange or on a national over- the-counter market or [bearing a rating of one of the three highest grades by a nationally recognized investment service organization that has been engaged regularly in rating corporate debt or equity issues for a period of not less than five years] WHICH MEET THE STANDARDS OF CREDITWORTHINESS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION BY THE SUPERINTENDENT; and S 9. Subdivisions 3 and 4 of section 1306 of the real property actions and proceedings law, as added by chapter 507 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read as follows: 3. Within one hundred eighty days of the effective date of this [subdivision] SECTION, or such later time as the superintendent may determine, the superintendent shall develop with the assistance of the commissioner of the division of housing and community renewal, an elec- tronic database that shall be capable of receiving all filings required by this section. 4. The information provided to the superintendent pursuant to this [subdivision] SECTION shall not be subject to article six of the public officers law or paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of subdivision one or subdi- vision six of section ninety-four of the public officers law. All such information shall be used by the superintendent exclusively for the purposes of monitoring on a statewide basis the extent of foreclosure filings within this state, to perform an analysis of loan types which were the subject of a pre-foreclosure notice and directing as appropri- ate available public and private foreclosure prevention and counseling services to borrowers at risk of foreclosure. The superintendent may share information contained in the database with housing counseling agencies designated by the division of housing and community renewal as well as with other state agencies with jurisdiction over housing, for the purpose of coordinating or securing help for borrowers at risk of foreclosure. S 10. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that sections two, four, five and eight of this act shall take effect only upon such time as the superintendent of banks shall certify that the superinten- dent has adopted the regulations required by this act; and provided further that the superintendent of banks shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission upon the occurrence of such certification in order that the commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the legisla- tive law and section 70-b of the public officers law.

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