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A BUDGET BILL submitted by the Governor
in accordance with Article VII of the Constitution

AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to the property/casualty insurance security fund and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto (A); to amend the general business law, the real property law and the executive law, in relation to the fees charged for certain license, registration and commission applications and examinations(B); to provide for the utilization of utility assessment funds (C); and to amend the state finance law, in relation to providing for the administration of certain funds and accounts related to the 2000-2001 budget; to amend the state finance law, chapter 389 of the laws of 1997, relating to the financing of the correctional facilities improvement fund and the youth facility improvement fund, the New York state medical care facilities finance agency act, the facilities development corporation act, the mental hygiene law and the private housing finance law, in relation to provisions necessary to implement the 2000-2001 budget and in relation to the duties of the office of general services and the division of the budget; to amend the state finance law, in relation to payments and transfers; to amend the state finance law, in relation to the period for which appropriations are made; to amend chapter 405 of the laws of 1999, amending the real property tax law and other laws relating to improving the administration of the school tax relief (STAR) program, in relation to the effectiveness of such chapter; to amend the state finance law, in relation to the clean water/clean air fund and the debt reduction reserve fund; to amend the public authorities law, in relation to interest rate exchange or similar agreements; to repeal subdivision 10 of section 97-ttt of the state finance law, relating to the federal revenue maximization fund; to repeal section 88-c of the state finance law, relating to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority light rail rapid transit special assistance fund; to repeal section 97-j of the state finance law, relating to the capacity, bridge and highway improvements fund; to repeal section 2867 of the public health law, relating to the nursing home development fund; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof (D)


This bill contains various provisions needed to implement the General Government portion of the 2000-01 Executive Budget.


Part A. Property/Casualty Insurance Security Fund. This bill provides permanent authorization for the Superintendent of Insurance to advance money from the Property/Casualty Security Fund to rehabilitate domestic property casualty insurers. The ability of the Superintendent to advance funds from the Fund for such purposes has been periodically extended; the most recent extension, Chapter 134 of the Laws of 1999, continued these provisions for one year.

The purpose of the Property/Casualty Insurance Security Fund, which is financed by a 1.5 percent tax on property/casualty premiums, is to pay the claims of an insolvent insurance carrier. This bill would permit the use of the Fund’s assets, under precise circumstances, to save a financially troubled insurer which the court has determined has strong potential of being successfully rehabilitated. The successful rehabilitation of an insurer, prior to insolvency, prevents a disruption of the insurance market, permits insurers to continue coverage in the voluntary market and preserves the assets of the Property/Casualty Insurance Security Fund which would otherwise have been disbursed if the insurer had been placed in liquidation.

Part B. Utility Assessments. This bill defines certain expenditures from the departments of Health, Agriculture and Markets, Economic Development, Environmental Conservation, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, and the Consumer Protection Board as eligible expenses for utility assessment revenue. In addition, the bill requires agencies supported by utility assessment revenues to report on related activities to the Budget Director and the chairs of the legislative energy and fiscal committees.

Currently, section 18-a of the Public Service Law enables the Department of Public Service to assess public utility companies an amount equivalent to the total direct and indirect costs and expenses incurred for the regulation of public utility companies. The provisions of this bill are submitted annually with the Executive Budget, to make other agencies’ utility-related expenses eligible for funding from this assessment. Without this legislation, the affected agencies could not continue operations for critical State programs related to public utility regulation in the 2000-01 State Fiscal Year.

Part C. Department of State licensing fees. This bill restructures the examination and licensing application fees for 9 of the 30 disciplines for which the Department of State is responsible, and eliminates certain "after-licensure" fees which discourage the timely filing of required information.

Effective April 1, 2000, section 1 of the bill increases the various two year license fees as follows: the application fee for licenses to practice certain appearance enhancement professionals from $20 to $30, the application fee for an appearance enhancement business license from $30 to $50, and appearance enhancement examination fees from $15 to $25. Certain "after licensure" fees, such as name and address changes, are eliminated.

Section 2 increases the original and renewal application fee for a two year license to engage in the practice of barbering from $20 to $30, increases the application fee for a two year barber shop license from $30 to $50, increases examination fees from $15 to $25, increases the original and renewal fee for a two year barber apprentice license from $10 to $20, and eliminates certain nuisance fees.

Sections 3 and 4 increase the original and renewal application fee for a two year real estate broker or salesperson license from $150 to $200, and $50 to $75, respectively, increase the examination fee from $15 to $25, and eliminate certain nuisance fees.

Sections 5 and 6 increase the alarm installer application fee from $15 to $25.

Section 7 and 8 increase the renewal application fee for two year security guard registration from $25 to $36, and increase the private investigator and watch, guard and patrol examination fee from $15 to $25.

Sections 9 and 10 increase the application fee for a notary public commission from $30 to $40, and establish a $25 examination fee for the notary examination.

The Department of State provides a wide range of services to a variety of customers, including businesses, local governments and the general public. Over the years, the Department has sought to improve service and has been successful in reducing processing time. This bill gives the Department the financial resources necessary to make further service improvements requested by the industry through an investment in automation and internet computer capacities.

These investments will improve the application and licensing process. Service will be enhanced with quicker turnaround, the ability to transact business on-line and 24 hour access to information. Efficiency in the agency’s day-to-day operations will be improved, particularly as an integrated database is established for licensing services over the next few years. Over time, savings will accrue as the volume of paper-based manual transactions declines, resulting in lower storage costs, quicker processing, and fewer telephone inquiries and mail transactions.

Part D. Miscellaneous fiscal provisions: This bill provides the statutory authorization necessary for the administration of funds/accounts included in the 2000-2001 Executive Budget. The bill authorizes temporary loans to specific funds/accounts and provides for the deposit of certain revenues. It also amends the State Finance Law in relation to payments and transfers and the period for which appropriations are made. In addition, this bill continues or extends various provisions of Chapter 405 of the Laws of 1999 in relation to capital projects and certain certifications; authorizes the issuance of certificates of participation; and increases existing bond caps for various capital programs. The bill also provides the statutory authorization for the Office of General Services and the Division of Budget to carry out certain administrative and programmatic functions; and repeals statutory authorizations relating to dormant funds.

The specific provisions of the bill are as follows:

Legislation is enacted each year to authorize loans that are assumed in the Financial Plan and which do not have permanent statutory authorization. This bill is required to implement the 2000-2001 Budget and to maintain the balance of the State’s Financial Plan by ensuring that required reimbursements, certifications, and disbursements are accomplished. The provisions of this bill relating to the Division of Budget’s and the Office of General Services’ performance of basic administrative and programmatic functions have been enacted in prior years and are needed to implement the Budget this year.


Part A is necessary to implement the Executive Budget. Should an insurer be declared insolvent, it is highly likely that the current assets of the Security Fund would be insufficient and payment of claims against the insolvent insurer might require use of other State resources.

Part B authorizes expenditures of utility assessment moneys for the agencies involved.

Part C makes adjustments to licensing fees that will result in additional revenue ($4.5 million to the Business and Licensing Services account) that will allow investments of $3.8 million in automation and Internet computer capacity.

Part D is required to maintain the balance of the State’s Financial Plan by authorizing loans that are assumed in the Financial Plan and by ensuring that projected capital projects funds spending can be funded with the proceeds of bonds sold by public authorities; to implement the Governor’s debt reduction initiatives; to ensure the continued tax-exempt status and interest rate of certain outstanding general obligation and authority bonds; and to permit the State to carry out basic administrative functions.


This bill will take effect April 1, 2000.