Legalizes, validates, ratifies and confirms certain transportation contracts of the Schenectady city school district which were denied by the education department for failure of the district to publish certain information required by statute.
Ayes (18): Flanagan, Farley, Lanza, LaValle, Marcellino, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Seward, Oppenheimer, Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Montgomery, Serrano, Stavisky, Huntley
TITLE OF BILL: An act to legalize, validate, ratify and confirm certain transportation contracts of the Schenectady city school district
PURPOSE: To legalize, validate, ratify and confirm certain acts of the Schenectady City School District in order to ensure that the District receives needed state reimbursement that it was supposed to receive for certain transportation contracts.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill legalizes, validates, ratifies and confirms the acts and proceedings of the Schenectady City School District in relation to certain transportation contracts. Section 2 of the bill directs the Education Department to consider the approved costs of such transportation contracts as valid and proper obligations of the Schenectady City School District.
JUSTIFICATION: In 2008, the State Education Department identified an error in a legal notice published several years earlier by the Schenectady City School District in relation to certain transportation services for the 2003-04 school year. Because of this error, the Department indicated that the expected state transportation aid could not be paid for these two contracts which covered the 2003-04 school year. To exacerbate the situation, the Education Department also indicated that the District could not be reimbursed for transportation expenses incurred in connection with the extension of those contracts in the 2004-05,2005-06,2006-07,2007-08 and 2008-09 school years. Because the School District was unaware that there was a problem with the original contracts, it had extended the contracts several times. Because of the delay in identifying the original error, the potential financial ramifications of this error increased dramatically. The loss of this aid would be an excessive and unwarranted punishment for an unintended error in a legal notice. This would have a significant negative impact on schoolchildren and local taxpayers. The state should not receive a windfall at the expense of the local school district because of an administrative error. This legislation will enable the District to receive the appropriate transportation aid which it would otherwise be entitled to receive.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill does not cost the state any extra money. Each year, the state budget includes funds to help school
districts with their transportation expenses. This bill simply enables the Schenectady City School District to receive the transportation aid that was allocated for it in the state budget. These funds had been set aside for the District to receive as reimbursement for the expenses it incurred in providing needed transportation services to students.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011: S.4564- Veto Memo #76
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6147 IN SENATE January 5, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. FARLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to legalize, validate, ratify and confirm certain transportation contracts of the Schenectady city school district THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. All the acts done and proceedings heretofore had and taken or caused to be had and taken by the Schenectady city school district and by all officers, employees or agents of such school district relat- ing to or in connection with transportation contracts C252137 and C252138 for the 2003-2004 school year, and transportation contracts E252137 and E252138 for the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years, and all acts incidental thereto are hereby legal- ized, validated, ratified and confirmed, notwithstanding any failure to comply with the contract award, approvals and filing provisions of the education law, general municipal law or any other law or any other stat- utory authority, rule or regulation, other than those filing provisions defined in paragraph a of subdivision 5 of section 3604 of the education law, in relation to any omission, error, defect, irregularity or ille- gality in such proceeding had and taken, and provided further that any amount due and payable to the Schenectady city school district as a result of this act shall be paid pursuant to the provisions of paragraph c of subdivision 5 of section 3604 of the education law. S 2. The education department is hereby directed to consider the aforementioned contracts for transportation aid as valid and proper obligations of the Schenectady city school district. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09248-01-1