This bill has been amended

Bill S6954-2009

Eliminates the board of fire underwriters; repealer

Eliminates the board of fire underwriters.

Details

Actions

  • May 5, 2010: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 4, 2010: 1ST REPORT CAL.490
  • Mar 22, 2010: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • Mar 1, 2010: REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Insurance - Mar 22, 2010
Ayes (16): Breslin, Stachowski, Kruger, Diaz, Parker, Sampson, Thompson, Espada, Seward, LaValle, Larkin, Alesi, Leibell, Golden, Young, McDonald
Ayes W/R (1): Johnson C

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S6954

TITLE OF BILL : An act to repeal chapter 241 of the laws of 1930 relating to the New York Board of Fire Underwriters, relating to the elimination of such board; and to repeal chapter 181 of the laws of 1939 amending chapter 241 of the laws of 1930 relating to the amount and assessment of expenses of the fire patrol, relating to the elimination of such board

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :

This bill would abolish the New York Board of Fire Underwriters, along with its assessment power, and permit the Secretary of State to establish an electrical inspection pilot program if so desired.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :

Section 1 - Repeals chapter 241 of the laws of 1930.

Section 2 - Repeals chapter 181 of the laws of 1939.

Section 3 - Transfers any remaining assets of the Board to the State of New York and permits the State to use, at its discretion, such assets to support the operations of the newly formed Electrical Bureau of State Fire.

Section 4 - Authorizes the Secretary of State to establish, at his or her discretion, an electrical inspection pilot program.

Section 5 - Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION :

The Board of Fire Underwriters (the "Board") was created at the request of the insurance industry in the late 1800's, to assist them in protecting insured's property in the City of New York. To attain this goal, the Board created the Fire Patrol, the purpose of which was to respond to fires at or near an insured's location and attempt to remove, preserve or otherwise protect property contained therein from such fire, or other harmful effects such as smoke or water damage. The Fire Patrol was funded by self-assessments on Board members.

However, over time the Board found that the Fire Patrol was unable to adequately protect property from fires or related damage (e.g. modern electronics, prevalent throughout residences and offices, are often damaged beyond use despite Patrol efforts). As such, the effectiveness and use of the Fire Patrol diminished to the point where it was determined by the Board that it was no longer necessary and the self-assessments were burdening member companies with unnecessary costs that only increased the eventual cost to the consumer. The result was that the Fire Patrol was disbanded in 2006.

Given that the original purpose of the Board is no longer relevant, it is appropriate to provide for its dissolution.

In the 1930's, the Board also created the Bureau of Electricity, the purpose of which was to perform electrical inspections for any municipalities, individuals or entities that requested them.

If the State deems that the Bureau may still have a public value in fire prevention, the Secretary of State's office is authorized to conduct an electrical inspection pilot program. Any assets held by the Board are being transferred to New York State, which may use them in whatever amount deemed necessary to support this pilot program.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

New legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :

To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE : April 1, 2011

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6954 IN SENATE March 1, 2010 ___________
Introduced by Sen. BRESLIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance AN ACT to repeal chapter 241 of the laws of 1930 relating to the New York Board of Fire Underwriters, relating to the elimination of such board; and to repeal chapter 181 of the laws of 1939 amending chapter 241 of the laws of 1930 relating to the amount and assessment of expenses of the fire patrol, relating to the elimination of such board THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Chapter 241 of the laws of 1930 relating to the New York Board of Fire Underwriters, is REPEALED. S 2. Chapter 181 of the laws of 1939 amending chapter 241 of the laws of 1930 relating to the amount and assessment of expenses of the fire patrol, is REPEALED. S 3. Any assets held by the New York Board of Fire Underwriters at the time of the effective date of this act shall inure to the benefit of the state of New York and may be devoted to the electrical inspection pilot program contained in section four of this act in the manner and amount deemed appropriate. S 4. The secretary of state's office of fire prevention and control is hereby authorized to conduct an electrical inspection pilot program in coordination with municipalities, or any other public or private enti- ties as deemed appropriate by such office. Such entity shall be known as the Electrical Bureau of State Fire. S 5. This act shall take effect April 1, 2011.

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