skip navigation

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT

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

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the powers of the boards of trustees of the state university of New York and the city university of New York to establish tuition rates (Part A); to amend the education law, in relation to the powers of the boards of trustees of the state university of New York to establish and contract with not-for-profit corporations (Part B); to amend the arts and cultural affairs law, the state finance law, the parks, recreation and historic preservation law and the not-for-profit corporation law, in relation to establishing the New York institute for cultural education and providing for the orderly transfer of all functions, powers, duties, obligations, and assets of the office of cultural education located in the state education department to the New York institute for cultural education; and repealing certain provisions of the education law relating thereto (Part C); to amend the education law, in relation to the calculation and payment of state aid to school districts and boards of cooperative educational services, school construction and the apportionment of aid, the apportionment of aid for the purchase of cooperative educational services, the special act school districts and their status regarding the boards of cooperative educational services, the creation of a needs resource index in the education law in order to prioritize the payment of aid on school construction projects, and the ability of the state education department to continue using administrative discretion in the award of grants to school districts notwithstanding provisions of the state finance law; to amend the general municipal law, in relation to the contracting of school district construction projects; to amend the public authorities law, in relation to special school purpose agreements; to amend chapter 60 of the laws of 2000, amending the education law, relating to the enactment of major components necessary to the implementation of the 2000-01 state fiscal plan, chapter 82 of the laws of 1995, amending the education law and certain laws relating to aid to school districts and the appropriation of funds for the support of government, and chapter 169 of the laws of 1994 relating to certain provisions related to the 1994-95 state operations, aid to localities, capital projects and debt service budgets, in relation to certain expiration and repeal dates contained therein; to amend chapter 756 of the laws of 1992 relating to funding a program for workforce education conducted by the consortium for worker education in New York City, in relation to the effectiveness thereof; to repeal certain provisions of the education law relating to letting of construction contracts; to repeal paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 1734 and subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 1735 of the public authorities law relating to contracts of the New York city school construction authority; and to repeal section 11 of chapter 795 of the laws of 1967, amending the education law, the public authorities law and the real property tax law relating to authorizing boards of cooperative educational services to own and construct buildings relating to boards of cooperative educational services constructing buildings through the dormitory authority (Part D); to amend the education law, in relation to the number and appointment of members of the board of regents, promulgation of regulations by the regents and the commissioner of education, and the responsibilities and compensation of superintendents of boards of cooperative educational services and supervisory districts; to amend the county law, in relation to making certain technical corrections; and repealing certain provisions of the education law relating to the board of regents (Part E); to amend the education law, in relation to the eligibility requirements for the tuition assistance program and the creation of a tuition assistance loan program (Part F); to amend the real property law and the state finance law, in relation to the fee for recording real property transfer reporting forms (Part G); to amend chapter 540 of the laws of 1992, amending the real property tax law relating to oil and gas charges, in relation to the effectiveness of such chapter (Part H); to amend the labor law, in relation to transfer of certain programs for the vocational rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities from the education department to the department of labor, transfer of certain programs for blind or visually handicapped persons and the equipment loan fund for the disabled from the office of children and family services to the department of labor, and transfer of certain programs for blind and visually handicapped persons aged fifty-five and over to the office for the aging; to amend the mental hygiene law, the social services law, the election law and the education law, in relation to making technical corrections thereto; to repeal articles 21 and 23-A and section 4210 of the education law relating to vocational and educational services to individuals with disabilities; to repeal title 9-A of article 5 of the social services law relating to the equipment loan fund for the disabled; to repeal section 38 of the social services law relating to the commission for the blind and visually handicapped; and to repeal subdivision 23 of section 305 of the education law relating to the powers of the commissioner of education (Part I); to amend the executive law and the social services law, in relation to the transfer of the state council on children and families to the office of children and family services, and to repeal article 19-C of the executive law related thereto, and to repeal subdivision 3 of section 409-i of the social services law relating to the review of programs concerning adolescent pregnancy and teenage motherhood (Part J); to amend the executive law, in relation to utilization of non-secure juvenile detention for juvenile delinquents and persons in need of supervision and reimbursement therefor (Part K); to amend the social services law, in relation to the eligibility of certain foster care children in managed care plans (Part L); to amend the social services law and the education law, in relation to requiring a school district share for the maintenance costs associated with the committee on special education residential placements (Part M); to repeal title 1-A of article 6 of the social services law, relating to the state commission on the quality of foster care (Part N); to amend the social services law, in relation to the local agency maximum monthly shelter allowance in the family assistance and safety net programs and to make provision for payment of additional shelter allowances to the extent provided in an appropriation (Part O); to amend the social services law, in relation to increasing the standards of monthly need for aged, blind and disabled persons and increasing mandatory minimum state supplementation of federal supplemental security income benefits (Part P); to amend the social services law, in relation to the transfer of functions of the welfare inspector general and to repeal section 74 of the executive law relating thereto (Part Q); to amend the real property tax law, in relation to the maximum tax savings from the school tax relief program for the two thousand three--two thousand four school year (Part R); to amend the education law, in relation to limiting school district spending increases (Part S); and to amend the general business law, the public health law, the criminal procedure law, the mental hygiene law and the state finance law, in relation to providing for the transfer of certain programs relating to the regulation of professional practice from the state education department to the department of state; and to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, the agriculture and markets law, the business corporation law, the civil practice law and rules, the correction law, the criminal procedure law, the education law, the executive law, the general business law, the general municipal law, the insurance law, the labor law, the limited liability company law, the mental hygiene law, the partnership law, the penal law, the public buildings law, the public health law, the real property tax law, the social services law, the surrogate’s court procedure act, the tax law, the town law, the vehicle and traffic law, and the workers' compensation law, in relation to making technical corrections thereto; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof; and to repeal title VIII of the education law relating thereto (Part T)


PURPOSE:

This bill contains provisions needed to implement the Education, Labor and Family Assistance portion of the 2003-04 Executive Budget.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS, EXISTING LAW, PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:

Part A – Provide increased flexibility for the Trustees of SUNY and CUNY in establishing tuition rates

This bill provides increased flexibility for the Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) in establishing tuition policies and rates by:

Sections 355 and 6206 of the Education Law:

Similar legislation providing the authority to establish differential tuition rates for graduate and professional degree programs was advanced in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

Existing statutory prohibitions in relation to differential tuition prevent the SUNY and CUNY Trustees from establishing tuition rates at graduate levels of study which recognize legitimate distinctions that exist among the diverse types of institutions and programs comprising the State and City Universities and inhibit the generation of revenues in a manner sensitive to the needs of each campus.

This bill allows SUNY and CUNY to develop tuition rates for graduate study according to a policy that would generate revenues in a manner sensitive to the needs of each campus and provide greater fiscal stability for the Universities. In the future this authorizes the Trustees to adopt tuition increases prior to enactment of the annual budget and will provide increased predictability in planning for the cost of education for students and parents and help to ensure that affordable, quality education is available to all students.

Part B – Authorize the SUNY Trustees to transfer the operations of the SUNY teaching hospitals to private not-for-profit corporations

This bill authorizes the State University Trustees to transfer the operations of the SUNY hospitals to one or more private not-for-profit corporations and directs the Trustees to develop a plan for such transfer. This includes:

Section 355 of the Education Law establishes the administrative and fiscal powers and duties of the State University Trustees.

Recent developments in the health care marketplace, including Medicare budget cuts, deregulation of hospital reimbursement rates and expansion of managed care have made the delivery of health care in New York State increasingly more competitive. Because of the various legal constraints imposed on them as State institutions, SUNY’s hospitals are currently unable to compete effectively in this environment. Transferring the operations of the SUNY hospitals to not-for-profit corporations will better position the SUNY hospitals to enter into networking relationships with other health care providers to develop high quality, cost-effective and integrated delivery systems. In addition, not-for-profit status will promote more effective long-term planning, expedite short-term decision-making and help ensure the future competitive and financial stability of the SUNY hospitals.

Part C – Establish a New York Institute for Cultural Education (NYICE) to assume responsibility for the State Museum, the State Library, and the State Archives and provide for the transfer of these programs from the State Education Department

This bill establishes a new public benefit corporation — the New York Institute for Cultural Education (NYICE) — that will assume responsibility for the cultural education programs that are currently administered by the State Education Department (SED). The creation of NYICE will provide greater prominence and visibility for the State Museum, State Library and State Archives, and provide an administrative structure that would enhance their ability to contribute to the State’s economy, tourism and cultural enrichment.

This bill provides for:

The Education Law assigns to SED the responsibility to administer the State Museum (§§ 232, 233-a, 234 –235-b), the State Library (§§ 232 and 245 – 252), Library Aid (§§ 271-285), Public Broadcasting Aid (§ 236) and grants for historic documents and records (§ 140).

The Arts and Cultural Affairs Law assigns SED the responsibility to administer the State Archives (§ 57.05) and the Local Government Records Management program (§§ 57.07-57.11).

The 2002-03 Executive Budget included a similar proposal to transfer the administration and staffing for the State’s cultural education programs to a public benefit corporation termed NYICE, and to establish a new revenue source outside the State’s General Fund through increasing an existing fee for the filing, recording and certifying of records by county clerks from $5 to $20. The Legislature did not authorize the creation of NYICE but did approve the fee increase and the movement of the State’s cultural education programs from the General Fund.

Proposals to establish a separate agency for the State’s cultural resources were also included as part of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 Executive Budgets.

This bill increases the prominence and visibility of the State’s cultural institutions by establishing NYICE as a separate public benefit corporation with the sole purpose of developing and promoting cultural resources. The new public benefit corporation:

Part D – Implement school aid reforms

This bill contains various provisions necessary for implementation of the Education portion of the 2003-04 Executive Budget. This bill contains recommendations to reform existing law to: target building aid reimbursement more effectively; eliminate unintended incentives for the placement of special education students in restrictive settings; advance mandate relief measures; and advance reforms to refocus boards of cooperative educational services on their core mission of providing cost-effective educational services.

BOCES: Effective with expenditures made July 1, 2003, the purchase of administrative and general office services from Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) will no longer be eligible for enhanced aid.

Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, BOCES aid will be folded into the operating aids base, and school districts will have complete flexibility in the use of this aid. BOCES aid will continue solely for aid for capital expenses that existed on or before February 1, 2003. In addition, provisions would apply a consistent policy to special act school districts with regard to their status as component districts of BOCES.

This bill will amend various portions of Section 1950 of the Education Law, including provisions related to component districts, that pertain to the functions of and apportionment for services provided by BOCES.

These reforms will refocus BOCES on their core mission of providing cost-effective educational services to school districts. Much of the growth in BOCES aid in recent years has been due to increases in non-instructional spending. While maintaining support for the BOCES infrastructure, the State will also give school districts greater flexibility in spending their resources by permitting them to determine how to spend their State aid in the most cost-effective manner.

School Facilities/Building Aid: This bill amends the Education Law to provide aid to school districts for the State share of building projects according to a prioritized pool approach, beginning with all projects approved by the Commissioner of Education after February 1, 2003. In addition, this bill includes provisions that would:

This bill will affect sections 407-a, 458, 482 and 3602(6) of the Education Law, section 101 of the General Municipal Law, and sections 1734 and 1735 of the Public Authorities Law. Section 3602(6) of the Education Law provides for the payment of building aid to school districts for capital costs of school facilities. Section 101 of the General Municipal Law, sections 407-a, 458, and 482 of the Education Law, and sections 1734 and 1735 of the Public Authorities Law pertain to the requirements for bidding contracts for public construction projects.

Under this bill, changes are recommended that will change the existing open ended building aid reimbursement process to one based on a prioritized system of State- identified facilities needs.

Currently, the Wicks Law requires school districts to issue multiple bids for school construction projects. Elimination of this mandate will save school districts and the State an average of more than 10 percent on the cost of building schools, maximizing the effectiveness of both State and local dollars.

Other changes, such as basing building aid on the current wealth of a school district (for projects approved by local voters after July 1, 2003), will ensure that limited State resources support the most pressing school facility needs.

Special Education: Effective July 1, 2003, the existing restriction on the creation or expansion of preschool programs that only serve children with disabilities will be continued for one year.

Effective with aid paid for the school year that begins on July 1, 2004, reimbursement for pupils educated in private schools will be modified so that it conforms to the formula used for public school special education placements.

In addition, effective with the 2003-04 school year, provisions will: conform State requirements for committees on special education to Federal requirements; continue existing provisions that provide flexibility for special education class size for two years; expedite the impartial hearing process; and modify certain hearing requirements to comply with Federal requirements.

Sections 4402, 4404 and 4410 of the Education Law are affected by this bill. Section 4402 of the Education Law governs the provision of special education services to school age children, including the composition of committees on special education and maximum class size. Section 4404 of the Education Law pertains to appeal procedures for children with disabilities including the qualifications of independent hearing officers and the conduct of such hearings. Section 4410 of the Education Law governs the provision of preschool special education services to children, including the limitations on establishing new preschool programs that only serve disabled children and the composition of committees of special education.

The preschool special education provisions of the bill are intended to ensure that new preschool special education programs are targeted, so children are educated in the least restrictive setting possible. This is consistent with State and Federal policy, which require that disabled children should be educated with and share as many experiences as possible with their non-disabled peers. However, in recognition of the fact that there are instances when specialized classrooms which serve only disabled children are necessary, the State Education Department would continue to have the flexibility to approve new specialized classrooms when there is a demonstrated need for such programs.

The current reimbursement calculation for students placed in private schools contains unintended incentives for students to be placed in these more restrictive settings. Conforming the payment of aid for these students to that used for special education students educated in public school settings will remove these incentives.

In addition, under existing State requirements, the required composition of Committees on Special Education and Committees on Preschool Special Education exceeds the requirements under Federal law. Proposed changes would conform State practice to Federal requirements and simplify administration for school districts.

Finally, modifications to the procedures in Article 78 proceedings, which review determinations of the State review officer under Education Law, are necessary to ensure that New York will remain eligible to receive Federal IDEA funds in the 2003-04 school year.

Other Miscellaneous Provisions: This bill also makes other amendments to the Education Law, including amendments which:

Part E – Restructure the appointment process and membership of the State Board of Regents; and eliminate certain functions of the superintendents of Boards of Cooperative Educational Services

This bill will change the number of members and appointment process for the State Board of Regents; require the Board of Regents to obtain the review and approval of the State Office of Regulatory Reform for new regulations having significant costs for the State, local governments or educational institutions; and eliminate State salaries and certain functions for superintendents of Boards of Cooperative Educational Services.

Section 1 of this bill restructures the Board of Regents as follows:

Section 2 requires that the Governor’s 12 appointees to the Board of Regents represent each of the 12 judicial districts in the State, and that all vacancies in the Board be filled in accordance with the process applicable to the original appointments.

Section 3 provides that all State and local laws relating to ethics and financial disclosure are applicable to the Board of Regents.

Section 4 requires that the meetings of the Board of Regents comply with the open meetings provisions in law.

Section 5 increases the quorum for a Regents’ meeting from 7 to 10 members of the Board.

Section 6 requires the Board of Regents to obtain the review and approval of the State Office of Regulatory Reform for new regulations having significant costs for the State, local governments, or educational institutions.

Sections 7, 8, 9 and 10 discontinue certain functions undertaken by the superintendents of the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) at the direction of the Commissioner of Education, and reflect the elimination of the existing State salary received by the superintendents.

The State Constitution establishes the Board of Regents as the head of the Education Department, and requires a minimum of nine Regents. Section 202 of the Education Law governs the selection of the Regents:

Section 205 of the Education Law provides for a quorum of 7 for the meetings of the Board of Regents.

Section 2209 of the Education Law establishes a State salary of $43,499 for the superintendents of 38 BOCES, and Section 2211 authorizes the Education Commissioner to withhold all or part of that salary for dereliction of duty by the superintendents.

Section 2215 of the Education Law prescribes the powers and duties of BOCES superintendents including certain functions assigned by the Commissioner of Education.

Two separate bills introduced in 2002 (S.7311 and A.10653) had proposed constitutional amendments to abolish the Board of Regents and designate the Commissioner of Education the head of the Education Department. Several similar proposals had been introduced in prior years.

A.5254 of 2001, which proposed a thorough and open scrutiny of Regent candidates through a Commission on Regents Nomination and Senate confirmation of the Regents’ Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, died in committee.

An Article VII bill was proposed in 1999-00 (Part HH of S.1603) that included a proposal to require that the regulations of the Regents and the Commissioner of Education that have cost implications for the State, local governments or educational institutions be reviewed and approved by the State Office of Regulatory Reform. This proposal did not pass the Legislature.

Consistent with the recently enacted reform of educational governance in New York City, this bill addresses several key flaws in the system of educational governance in the State as stated below:

This bill introduces at the State level the same principles underlying New York City’s educational governance reform (Chapter 91 of 2002). At the core of the transformation of the New York City school system lies the restructuring of the Board of Education, with the majority of its 13 members appointed by the Mayor (compared to 2 in the defunct 7-member Board) and the remainder appointed by borough presidents. Further, the role of the Board of Education was redefined as a policy-making and advisory body rather than one engaged in day-to-day management decisions.

At present, New York and South Carolina are the only 2 states in the nation where the legislature appoints a board that is responsible for supervising the state’s educational programs. By authorizing the Governor to appoint a majority of the members of the Board of Regents, this bill will make the Board accountable to the State’s highest elected official and conform New York’s educational governance structure to that of most other states.

Currently, while the 16 members of the Board of Regents are elected by a joint session of the Legislature, they are effectively chosen by the majority party in the Assembly, because members of the Assembly greatly outnumber members of the Senate in a joint session. By affording the Governor and the leaders of the majority and minority parties in both houses of the Legislature a role in the appointment of Regents, this bill will promote greater accountability of the Regents to elected officials.

It can be argued that the sweeping powers of the Regents were never intended to empower them to unilaterally impose mandates having significant fiscal implications for the State, local governments, and educational institutions. Indeed, such matters of fiscal policy are the constitutional responsibility of elected officials. By subjecting the regulations of the Regents and the Commissioner of Education to external review by the State Office of Regulatory Reform, this bill will enhance ongoing efforts to reduce costly mandates.

The elimination of the State salary and discontinuation of certain functions of the BOCES superintendents is consistent with overall efforts to streamline educational operations and achieve State cost savings.

Part F – Restructure TAP awards to provide incentives for college graduation

This bill modifies the award parameters for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to provide incentives for graduation and to create a Tuition Assistance Loan Program.

This bill restructures the TAP program to:

Awards made under the TAP program are currently authorized in Articles 13 and 14 of the Education Law under sections 601,604,661-665, 667, and 667-a. Existing law authorizes, for full-time undergraduate students, maximum awards of up to the lesser of tuition or $5,000 (for students receiving first time awards in 2000-01 or thereafter) and minimum awards of $500.

A similar proposal was advanced in the 2002-03 Executive Budget. A proposal for providing incentives for improving student graduation rates was advanced in the 1999-00 Executive Budget.

The approach of providing TAP to students in 2 components – a “base” award and a “performance” award – provides a financial incentive which rewards students for their successful academic progress. This change will also ensure that State taxpayer funds are invested wisely and productively for their intended purpose — enabling needy students to obtain college diplomas.

Establishing an incentive for successful graduation is needed since, at the present time, more than one-third of TAP recipients fail to complete their degree programs.

Creating a TAP loan program will ensure that students who have exhausted all their federal loan eligibility will have the means of financing their deferred performance award.

Including the payment of interest in the performance awards will ensure students who complete their degrees do not incur additional expenses because of the deferral of a portion of their TAP awards.

Part G – Increase the fee for recording real property transfers to support State and local programs to improve real property tax administration

This bill adjusts the existing fee for recording real property transfers to support State and local costs for real property tax administration.

Section 1 amends the Real Property Law to increase the fee for recording changes in the ownership of real property (caused by sales, gifts, marriages, inheritances, etc.) from $25 to $50, and authorizes counties and New York City to retain $9 of the fee, up from $3.

Section 2 amends the State Finance Law to direct the revenues from the real property transfer recording fee to a wider range of activities related to the improvement of real property tax administration, including preparation of equalization rates and the administration of programs of technical and financial assistance to local governments.

This bill also makes certain technical changes to conform the fee provisions to other sections of law.

Subdivision 3 of section 333 of the Real Property Law (enacted by Chapter 166 of the Laws of 1991) requires recording officers in counties and New York City to collect a $25 fee for each transfer of property ownership. From that fee, the collecting county or city may retain $3 for its own use, and send $22 to the Office of Real Property Services (ORPS).

Section 97 ll of the State Finance Law (enacted by Chapter 166 of the Laws of 1991) established the Improvement of Real Property Tax Administration Account of the State’s Miscellaneous Special Revenue Fund to receive revenues from the real property transfer recording fee. Money from this account may be used only for expenses of ORPS relating to real property tax administration.

The real property transfer recording fee has not been changed since its inception in 1991.

Since 1991, the Improvement of Real Property Tax Administration Account has been a steady source of support for the State’s role to improve the administration of local property tax. However, this revenue stream has not kept pace with cost increases requiring increased General Fund funding. By raising the property transfer recording fee, this bill will increase revenues dedicated for property tax administration, and generate savings for the General Fund.

Part H – Extend the authorization for the State to recover from the industry the cost of appraising oil and natural gas wells for local property taxation purposes

This bill recovers the State’s cost of appraising oil and natural gas wells for local property taxation by continuing chargebacks on their owners.

The Real Property Tax Law (Section 592) requires that the State provide certain valuation data on oil and gas producing units to local assessors for inclusion in their assessment rolls. This bill extends indefinitely the authorization for the State Board of the Office of Real Property Services (ORPS) to recover the cost of such services from the owners of oil and natural gas wells.

Section 593 of the Real Property Tax Law (enacted by Chapter 540 of the Laws of 1992) authorizes the State Board of Real Property Services to impose a chargeback on oil and gas producers for the cost of annually determining the value of such properties.

Chapter 540 of the Laws of 1992 established such chargebacks on oil and gas producers for the valuation services relating to their properties; Chapter 35 of the Laws of 1997 extended this authorization for three additional years, until March 31, 2003; and Chapter 17 of 2000 extended this authorization again for an additional three years, until March 31, 2003.

This bill continues the State’s valuation services for oil and gas producing units. Local governments have benefited from these services requiring specialized data and methods, and the industry has been willing to meet their cost because of the convenience of dealing with a standardized appraisal process and a single valuation entity. In light of the success of using chargebacks to fund this program over the last ten years, this bill proposes to make this funding mechanism permanent.

Part I – Merge portions of the Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) Program and portions of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) and the Equipment Loan Fund for the Disabled of the Office of Children and Family Services into the Department of Labor

This bill merges portions of the Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) Program of the State Education Department and portions of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) and the Equipment Loan Fund for the Disabled of the Office of Children and Family Services into the Department of Labor.

Also, this bill merges certain CBVH programs providing non-vocational rehabilitation to blind and visually handicapped persons aged 55 or older into the State Office for the Aging.

Sections 1 through 3 and sections 7 through 14 of the bill merge a portion of VESID into the Department of Labor (DOL) and provide for the transfer of all attendant responsibilities and employees as appropriate.

Sections 4 through 6 and 15 through 23 of the bill merge CBVH and the Equipment Loan Fund for the Disabled with DOL, and provide for the transfer of all attendant responsibilities and employees as appropriate. Section 16 of the bill also excludes non-vocational rehabilitation services provided to blind or visually impaired persons aged 55 or older from the transfer to DOL.

Sections 24 through 32 of the bill merge those portions of CBVH pertaining to non-vocational rehabilitation services provided to blind or visually impaired persons aged 55 or older with the Community Services Program of the State Office for the Aging.

Section 4210 and Articles 21 and 23-a of the State Education Law provide for vocational rehabilitation programs currently administered by the State Department of Education under the auspices of VESID.

CBVH is authorized by Chapter 1 of Title 24 of the Unconsolidated Laws and Section 38 of Social Services Law provides that the Commission is within the Office of Children and Family Services. The Equipment Loan Fund for the Disabled is authorized by Title 9-a of Article 5 of the Social Services Law.

Through 78 local employment service offices and 9 regional training and development offices around the State, the Department of Labor is the State’s primary employment and training agency, providing a range of employment services to the general population and welfare recipients. Consolidation of vocational rehabilitation and related services for disabled persons within DOL increases the overall effectiveness of these programs through increased coordination with existing DOL employment services. It also provides VESID and CBVH programs with greater access to DOL expertise in developing and operating a wide array of employment programs.

Non-vocational rehabilitation services provided to blind and visually handicapped individuals are similar to, and in many cases the same as, services provided by localities under the auspices of the State Office for the Aging’s Community Services Program. Consolidation of these services permits further improvements in the State’s effort to enable these individuals to live safely and independently at home.

Part J – Merge the Council on Children and Families into the Office of Children and Family Services to improve coordination of services

This bill improves the coordination of services to children and families by merging the Council on Children and Families into the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

Key provisions of this bill:

The Council on Children and Families is established under Article 19-C of the Executive Law which also details its powers and duties related to the coordination of services for children and families.

The proposed merger confirms OCFS’ role as the lead State agency on issues affecting children and families. Created in 1998 with a primary mission that includes statewide oversight of services to children and families, OCFS responsibilities overlap and supersede those of the much smaller Council on Children and Families.

The Council continues to exist within OCFS, ensuring coordination among the numerous State and local agencies that serve children and families.

Part K – Enhance utilization of State and local juvenile detention resources by encouraging reductions in the length of stay for youth in non-secure detention facilities

This bill deters excessive stays in non-secure detention facilities by phasing out State reimbursement to counties over a four-year period for lengths of stay that exceed 45 days.

This bill reduces State reimbursement to counties and New York City for lengths of stay in non-secure detention facilities that exceed 45 days within any 12-month period as follows:

Section 530 of the Executive Law requires the State to reimburse counties 100 percent of their eligible expenditures for the detention of juveniles who are State charges. For other youth, the State is required to reimburse counties 50 percent of their eligible expenditures for juvenile detention.

An Article VII bill to reduce State reimbursement for detention services, based on length of stay, was proposed in 2002 but was not enacted.

Non-secure detention services for Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) and juvenile delinquents are intended to be temporary in nature, focusing on care and maintenance rather than treatment. Currently, however, Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) data indicates that approximately 50 percent of all care days in non-secure detention are for lengths of stay in excess of 45 days.

By phasing-out State reimbursement for non-secure detention exceeding 45 days, this bill gives counties a strong incentive to create programs that prevent institutional placement through expanded community-based services such as family intervention counseling. Under child welfare financing reforms enacted in 2002, counties will receive 65 percent State reimbursement for these community-based services, compared to the 50 percent State reimbursement currently provided for all non-secure facility placements. Moreover, the 2003-04 Executive Budget gives counties $7 million in Federal funding to support developed programs for PINS that serve as alternatives to non-secure detention placement.

Part L – Enhance medical services to foster children placed with voluntary agencies by increasing access to managed care programs

This bill enhances the quality of medical services for foster children by allowing counties to enroll certain foster children placed with voluntary agencies in managed care programs.

Under existing law, foster care children are entitled to receive all necessary medical care services either through the regular Medicaid fee structure or through a provider-based Medicaid per diem methodology. Although local social services districts have the option of enrolling foster children under their direct care in approved managed care programs, they are not authorized under current law to enroll foster children under the direct care of voluntary agencies.

Section 1 of this bill allows local social services districts to enroll all children residing in foster boarding homes (home placements supervised by foster parents) in managed care programs.

Section 2 of this bill ensures that any approved managed care plan for foster children residing in foster boarding homes includes provisions that assure that these children receive continuous medical benefits, and the ability to disenroll from a managed care program when a sound basis for disenrollment has been established.

Under existing law, paragraph (d) of Subdivision 3 of Section 364-j of the Social Services Law excludes foster children in the direct care of voluntary agencies from the option of enrolling in managed care programs; paragraph (f) of Subdivision 3 of Section 364-j of the Social Services Law gives local social services districts the option of enrolling foster children under their direct care in managed care programs; and paragraph (c) of Subdivision 6 of Section 398 of the Social Services Law requires that local social services districts provide necessary medical or surgical care to all children in foster care.

Managed care programs encourage high quality health care services by providing participants with a community-based medical home where health care services are coordinated to ensure that care is continuous and comprehensive. This bill enhances medical care for foster children by authorizing counties to enroll additional children in managed care programs. Specifically, foster children placed with voluntary agencies and served in foster boarding homes will be eligible for participation in managed care pursuant to this bill.

Part M – Promote fiscal and program accountability by requiring school districts to share in the maintenance costs of children placed in private residential special education programs

This bill promotes fiscal and program accountability by assigning financial responsibility to local school districts for out-of-home special education placements made by their Committees on Special Education (CSE) during the regular school year.

Under existing law, school districts’ CSE’s are responsible for placing children with disabilities in special education residential settings. During the 2 summer months, maintenance costs (e.g., food and shelter) associated with these CSE placements are shared between the State Education Department (70 percent), the local social services districts (10 percent) and the local school districts (20 percent). However, during the regular 10 month school year, school districts do not bear any financial responsibility for the maintenance costs of their CSE placements. Instead, the State, through the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), is responsible for one-half of such costs and the local social services districts are responsible for the remaining half.

Effective July 1, 2003, this proposal will require school districts to pay 20 percent of all CSE maintenance costs during both the summer months and the regular school year. The remaining 80 percent would be equally shared between OCFS and local social services districts.

Section 153 of the Social Services Law requires OCFS to reimburse local social services districts for 50 percent of the CSE maintenance costs.

Section 4405 of the Education Law states that the maintenance costs of handicapped children placed in residential schools are the fiscal responsibility of both the State and the local social services district where the child resided at the start of the school year.

Section 4408 of the Education Law provides for 80 percent SED reimbursement to school districts (with a 10 percent charge back to municipalities) for the maintenance costs of CSE placements during the months of July and August.

Currently, school districts through their CSEs are responsible for placing children in high cost, segregated residential special education programs but do not share in the maintenance costs of such placements. This bill promotes fiscal and programmatic accountability in the provision of special education services by requiring local school districts to pay 20 percent of the maintenance costs of these residential CSE placements for the regular school year. The bill also ensures consistency with existing cost sharing requirements for summer school residential placements by CSEs which require a 20 percent school district share.

Part N – Repeal the State Commission on the Quality of Foster Care that duplicates existing Office of Children and Family Services oversight responsibility

This bill repeals sections of the Social Services Law creating the State Commission on the Quality of Foster Care.

Created in 2002, the Commission is an investigative body responsible for monitoring the quality of care provided to foster children in congregate foster care programs. The Office of Children and Family Services is also responsible for investigating complaints of this nature through its regional offices and Institutional Abuse Bureau.

This bill repeals the State Commission on the Quality of Foster Care, which was created by Title 1-A of article 6 of the Social Services Law, as added by section 19 of part C of chapter 83 of the laws of 2002.

The responsibilities of the recently created Commission duplicate those of the Office of Children and Family Services. OCFS’ regional office network and Institutional Abuse Bureau currently deploy trained staff prepared to investigate complaints and address any concerns raised.

Part O – Enact the existing regulatory schedule of public assistance shelter allowances

This bill enacts the existing regulatory schedule of public assistance shelter allowances within the Social Services Law to avoid potential increases that could result from pending litigation.

This bill amends section 131-a of the Social Services Law to enact the existing regulatory schedule of public assistance shelter allowances into statute; and authorizes continuation of additional shelter allowance payments if necessary to maintain housing for welfare households with children facing eviction.

Section 131-a of the Social Services Law sets forth provisions relating to monthly grants and allowances of public assistance.

This bill is necessary, in the context of the pending Jiggetts litigation, to avoid potential cost increases that could result from a court-ordered increase in the welfare shelter allowance ceilings.

On September 5, 1997, the State Supreme Court declared that the State’s schedule of welfare shelter allowances was inadequate for Family Assistance cases in New York City and, after appeals, on March 21, 2002 directed the State to promulgate an increased shelter allowance schedule by July 19, 2002. Accordingly, on July 19, 2002, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) filed a notice of proposed rule making that would increase the shelter allowance maxima for welfare families statewide.

Implementing new welfare shelter allowance schedules would cost a projected $59.4 million gross in SFY 2003-04 ($71.3 million on a full annual basis). This bill would moot the litigation and avoid such a cost increase by enacting the existing regulatory schedule of public assistance shelter allowances into statute. These changes not only would protect State taxpayers against a judicially-imposed increase in welfare spending, but also would verify that the shelter allowance portion of the public assistance grant is to be set by the Executive and the Legislature rather than by the courts.

There are currently approximately 14,500 families that have intervened in the Jiggetts case and receive a court-ordered monthly shelter supplement averaging $286. In addition, there are Jiggetts-like cases underway in large upstate counties (Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk) which also have intervener processes in place. The bill authorizes continuation of additional shelter allowance payments, if necessary, to maintain housing for welfare households with children facing eviction. This provision will not increase State costs because the cost of these additional payments is currently included in the Financial Plan.

Part P – Limit the pass-through of Federal Social Security Income cost-of-living adjustment benefit increases scheduled to occur on January 1, 2004

This bill helps to reduce State costs in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program while maintaining maximum benefit payment levels for most recipients and ensuring State compliance with Federal requirements.

Each year, the Federal portion of the SSI benefit increases to reflect changes in the consumer price index. Subject to certain restrictions in Federal law, the State may pass-through this increase to SSI recipients or use the added funds to reduce State costs for the program. The bill amends the Social Services Law to:

Section 209 of the Social Services Law establishes benefit levels for SSI. Section 131-o of the Social Services Law sets forth the amounts of the personal needs allowances for SSI recipients in congregate care facilities such as adult homes.

New York State is confronted with a fiscal crisis unparalleled since the 1970s. The State budget continues to reflect the effects of terrorist attacks of September 11th and the national economic slowdown. In this context, all programs must be carefully re-evaluated to control spending. The magnitude of the State’s investment in SSI – over $600 million per year – makes this proposal a necessary part of that effort.

For the overwhelming majority of SSI recipients, the effect of not passing-through the January 1, 2004 Federal benefit increase will be that their income will remain unchanged – they neither will experience the increase in disposable income that normally accompanies the annual pass-through nor will they experience any decrease in total income support. As such, the elimination of the 2004 pass-through should have minimal consequences for the SSI population. Moreover, the Federal benefit increase is an annual occurrence, taking effect January 1 of each calendar year. This proposal eliminates only one such increase – the one scheduled for January 1, 2004.

It should be noted that the annual pass-through of the Federal benefit increase has resulted in a large and growing disparity between maximum grants available to SSI recipients and maximum grants available in other public assistance programs. Consequently, given the necessity of reducing costs, one-time elimination of the annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in the SSI grant represents an equitable and reasonable way to help maintain the overall fiscal viability of income support programs in New York State.

This bill ensures State compliance with Federal law governing mandatory supplementation and maintenance of effort by providing a pass-through of the January 1, 2004 Federal benefit increase to recipients who were “grandfathered” into SSI from the former program of Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD) in 1974 (approximately 700 people), and by authorizing the Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to pass-through a portion of the Federal benefit increase to a small number of SSI recipients residing in congregate care level III facilities (approximately 130 people).

Even with the proposed limitations on the provision of a January, 2004 Federal COLA pass-through, New York State will remain 1 of the top 10 states (7th) in the size of its State supplement for SSI recipients.

Part Q – Merge the Office of the Welfare Inspector General (OWIG) with the Audit and Quality Control (A&QC) Unit of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)

This bill improves program coordination and administrative efficiencies by merging the Office of the Welfare Inspector General (OWIG) with the Audit and Quality Control (A&QC) Unit of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

The bill:

Chapter 41 of the Laws of 1992 added a new section 74 to the Executive Law creating an Office of Welfare Inspector General in the Department of Law, within the Office of the Deputy Attorney General for Medicaid Fraud Control.

This consolidation increases the coordination of investigative activities by adding prosecuting attorneys and investigators who are deputized police officers to OTDA’s existing audit and quality control functions. The resulting program integration also should eliminate any duplication of effort that may be occurring under the existing administrative structure. Anti-fraud activities also would become more efficient through access to OTDA’s computerized information systems and administrative support.

Part R – Cap Star benefits for non-senior homeowners at current levels

This bill limits 2003-04 cost increases in the School Tax Relief (STAR) program by capping non-senior individual benefits for that year at 2002-03 levels.

Effective immediately for the 2003-04 school year only, basic STAR benefits for non-seniors will be capped at 2002-03 levels. Individual homeowner basic STAR savings for 2003-04 may not exceed the maximum STAR savings allowed in 2002-03 for the school district portion of the assessing unit in which they reside.

Section 1 of the bill enacts the limitations for most homeowners.
Section 2 of the bill describes the unique calculations required for certain cooperative housing companies incorporated as mutual companies under the Private Housing Finance Law.

Existing law relating to the STAR exemption appears in sections 425 and 1306-a of the Real Property Tax Law.

School district tax rate increases drive higher individual STAR savings, causing the State to subsidize a portion of any school tax increase. Temporarily capping basic STAR benefits at their 2002-03 levels will prevent significant 2003-04 STAR cost increases to the State while preserving existing STAR benefits to homeowners.

Seniors who qualify for the enhanced STAR exemption will not be capped. Average benefits for other homeowners will continue to exceed $600. New homeowners will continue to be able to apply for STAR benefits.

Part S – Protect school taxpayers’ STAR savings by placing limitations on school budget increases

This bill protects school taxpayers and their STAR savings by placing limitations on school budget increases.

Effective immediately for school years beginning with 2003-04, this bill adds a new subdivision 6 to section 2022 of the Education Law to require that a school district’s total annual spending increase cannot exceed 4 percent, or 120 percent of the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the prior year, whichever is less, without a two-thirds majority vote. Spending increases attributable to enrollment growth, voter-approved capital projects, court orders, and certain other purposes allowed for in contingency budgets would be excluded from the spending increase imitations. When less than two-thirds of the voters approve the budget, the school district may present a proposition to override the cap on one additional occasion.

The requirements for limiting spending increases would not apply in the fiscally dependent school districts of the “Big Five” cities, which have their own constitutional tax limits and in which residents do not vote directly on school budgets.

Under sections 2022 and 2023 of the Education Law, school boards must adopt a contingency budget if voters fail to approve a school budget after the second submission. A school district’s contingency budget may not result in a percentage increase over the prior year that exceeds 120 percent of the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the prior year, or 4 percent, whichever is less. Certain types of expenditures such as emergency expenditures and enrollment-driven cost increases are excluded from the contingency budget limit.

The 2001-02 Executive Budget included similar proposals limiting school district spending increases.

The Governor’s STAR program was enacted to provide homeowners with relief from the heavy and growing burdens of school taxes. School property taxes in New York State were more than 60 percent higher than the national average and had been increasing at more than twice the rate of inflation over the previous decade. STAR has successfully provided senior citizens throughout the State with dramatic reductions in their school tax bills and non-seniors are now realizing significant savings as well. This bill ensures that the benefits intended by STAR are not diminished by excessive increases in local school spending and taxes. By capping school budget increases without a two-thirds majority vote, this bill will ensure that the intended benefits of STAR are not diminished without careful consideration by voters.

Part T – Transfer the functions of the Office of the Professions from the State Education Department to the Department of State

This bill refocuses the State Education Department on its educational mission by transferring professional licensing and regulation to the Department of State.

The bill transfers responsibility for the licensing and regulation of the 39 professions included in the following list from the State Education Department (SED) to the Department of State (DOS). It repeals Title VIII of the Education Law, which provides for professional licensure and regulation by the Regents and SED, and adds a new Article 40 (The Professions) to the General Business Law to grant the Secretary of State and DOS the powers currently delegated to the Regents and SED.

List of Professions

list of professions
1. Acupuncture 14. Landscape Architecture 27. Physical Therapy
2. Architecture 15. Licensed Practical Nurse 28. Podiatry
3. Athletic Trainer 16. Massage Therapy 29. Professional Engineering
4. Audiology 17. Medical Physics (effective 5/21/03) 30. Psychology
5. Certified Dental Assistant 18. Medicine 31. Registered Professional Nurse
6. Certified Public Accountancy 19. Midwifery 32. Registered Physician Assistant
7. Certified Shorthand Reporting 20. Nurse Practitioner 33. Registered Specialist Assistant
8. Chiropractic 21. Occupational Therapy 34. Respiratory Therapist
9. Dental Hygiene 22. Occupational Therapy Assistant 35. Respiratory Therapy Technician
10. Dentistry 23. Ophthalmic Dispensing 36. Social Work
11. Dietetics-Nutrition 24. Optometry 37. Speech-Language Pathology
12. Interior Design 25. Pharmacy 38. Veterinary Medicine and
13. Land Surveying 26. Physical Therapist Assistant 39 Veterinary Technology

This bill also amends the State Finance Law to provide that the revenue from fees paid by members of the professions subject to licensure and regulation is available to DOS to administer its activities relating to professional licensure and regulation.

The licensing of teachers will remain with the Education Department and while the licensure of physicians will be transferred from SED to DOS, the disciplining of physicians will remain with the Department of Health.

Currently, pursuant to Title VIII of the Education Law, SED administers the licensing and disciplining of the 39 professions listed above with the exception of the disciplining of physicians, which is the responsibility of the Department of Health.

The General Business Law authorizes the Department of State to administer the licensing and disciplining of several occupations and specialties, including real estate brokers, real estate appraisers, private investigators, security guards, cosmetologists, barbers, and notaries public.

A similar Executive Budget proposal in 1997-98 did not pass the Legislature.

The first priority of the Regents and SED is education, and by transferring the Office of the Professions to DOS, this bill will enable SED to better focus its attention on education. This bill is consistent with other proposals included in the 2003-04 Executive Budget that would transfer SED’s responsibilities in the area of vocational rehabilitation to consolidate that program in the Department of Labor, and to transfer the State Museum, Library and Archives from SED to a new public benefit corporation – the New York Institute for Cultural Education.

By consolidating the occupational and professional licensing function in the Department of State, this bill will generate administrative efficiencies and improve services provided to the professionals. Moreover, this change will conform New York to the administration of the professions in other states. Indeed, no other state has assigned a significant role for professional regulation to its education department.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS:

Part A – Provide increased flexibility for the Trustees of SUNY and CUNY in establishing tuition rates

This bill provides SUNY and CUNY the statutory flexibility to adjust their graduate program tuition levels and provide campuses with a means to generate additional revenues that can be used to strengthen programs.

Part B – Authorize the SUNY Trustees to transfer the operations of the SUNY teaching hospitals to private not-for-profit corporations

Although no immediate savings would accrue to the State as a result of this bill, as a result of the transfer of the SUNY hospitals to new not-for-profit corporations, the State could reduce and/or eliminate the State subsidy to the SUNY hospitals ($92.6 million in the 2003-04 Executive Budget). In addition, upon the completion of this transfer, the State’s All Funds budget would be reduced by $1.0 billion; the State workforce would be reduced by 9,300 full-time equivalent employees; and SUNY hospital debt could eventually be removed from the State debt cap.

Part C – Establish a New York Institute for Cultural Education (NYICE) to assume responsibility for the State Museum, the State Library, and the State Archives and provide for the transfer of these programs from the State Education Department

This bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget since the transfer of staff, functions and funds from SED to the Council on the Arts for the creation of NYICE is reflected in the appropriation bill.

Part D – Implement school aid reforms

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget by establishing a framework for certain school aid formulas and out year reforms and ensuring continued receipt of Federal funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Part E – Restructure the appointment process and membership of the State Board of Regents; and eliminate certain functions of the superintendents of Boards of Cooperative Educational Services

This bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which reflects $1.6 million in savings associated with the elimination of State salaries for BOCES Superintendents.

Part F – Restructure TAP awards to provide incentives for college graduation

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget since the amount appropriated for TAP reflects the enactment of this legislation.

Part G – Increase the fee for recording real property transfers to support State and local programs to improve real property tax administration

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which anticipates additional revenue of $9.6 million from the proposed fee increase. General Fund support for ORPS has been reduced accordingly.

Part H – Extend the authorization for the State to recover from the industry the cost of appraising oil and natural gas wells for local property taxation purposes

This bill generates approximately $40,000 annually for the Industrial and Utility Service Account (Special Revenue) within ORPS to reimburse the State’s expenses relating to valuation of oil and gas wells.

Part I – Merge portions of the Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) Program and portions of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) and the Equipment Loan Fund for the Disabled of the Office of Children and Family Services into the Department of Labor

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget. Both CBVH and VESID vocational rehabilitation services are primarily supported by Federal funding with a required State General Fund match of approximately 21 percent. This bill will result in improved program coordination and will lead to enhanced cost-effectiveness for vocational rehabilitation programs.

Part J – Merge the Council on Children and Families into the Office of Children and Family Services to improve coordination of services

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget which includes $500,000 in State savings associated with this merger proposal. State savings will annualize to $1 million in 2004-05 after the merger has been fully implemented.

Part K – Enhance utilization of State and local juvenile detention resources by encouraging reductions in the length of stay for youth in non-secure detention facilities

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive budget. State savings are estimated at $1.5 million in calendar year 2003, growing to $14 million upon full implementation in calendar year 2006. Counties could mitigate the fiscal impact of these potential reimbursement reductions by expanding State-funded preventive and other services that shorten detention lengths of stay.

Part L – Enhance medical services to foster children placed with voluntary agencies by increasing access to managed care programs

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget. Any additional costs associated with increased managed care participation should be largely offset by savings in the existing Medicaid per diem program for foster children. However, additional costs will be accommodated within the 2003-04 Executive Budget.

Part M – Promote fiscal and program accountability by requiring school districts to share in the maintenance costs of children placed in private residential special education programs

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget. The proposed 20 percent school district share would save the State and local social services districts $2.5 million each in the first year and $10.8 million each on a full annual basis.

Part N – Repeal the State Commission on the Quality of Foster Care that duplicates existing Office of Children and Family Services oversight responsibility

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget. Elimination of the Commission will result in a $500,000 savings in 2003-04.

Part O – Enact the existing regulatory schedule of public assistance shelter allowances

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget in order to avoid a $71.3 million full annual cost ($59.4 million in 2003-04) from a court-ordered increase in the welfare shelter allowance ceilings.

Part P – Limit the pass-through of Federal Social Security Income cost-of-living adjustment benefit increases scheduled to occur on January 1, 2004

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget which includes a $25.7 million savings in SFY 2003-04 assuming that there will not be a general pass-through of the January 1, 2004 Federal benefit increase. This savings will grow to $103 million per year starting in SFY 2004-05.

Part Q – Merge the Office of the Welfare Inspector General (OWIG) with the Audit and Quality Control (A&QC) Unit of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because the Budget assumes $155,000 in SFY 2003-04 General Fund savings (including $36,000 in fringe benefit savings) from a 2 staff person reduction associated with the merger.

Part R – Cap Star benefits for non-senior homeowners at current levels

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because capping basic STAR benefits at their 2002-03 levels for 1 year will limit State cost increases, while fully protecting seniors and continuing to provide homeowners with at least the same relief from school property taxes as they currently receive.

Part S – Protect school taxpayers’ STAR savings by placing limitations on school budget increases

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget by moderating the rate of increase in school spending and taxes, thus protecting taxpayer STAR savings and moderating future increases in STAR costs.

Part T – Transfer the functions of the Office of the Professions from the State Education Department to the Department of State

This bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because half of the funding for the Office of the Professions ($18.3 million) is budgeted in DOS reflecting the transfer of this office on October 1, 2003.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Part A – Provide increased flexibility for the Trustees of SUNY and CUNY in establishing tuition rates

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part B – Authorize the SUNY Trustees to transfer the operations of the SUNY teaching hospitals to private not-for-profit corporations

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part C – Establish a New York Institute for Cultural Education (NYICE) to assume responsibility for the State Museum, the State Library, and the State Archives and provide for the transfer of these programs from the State Education Department

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003, and the transfer of functions from SED to NYICE will take effect October 1, 2003.

Part D – Implement school aid reforms

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003 except that selected provisions will take effect immediately or on other specified dates.

Part E – Restructure the appointment process and membership of the State Board of Regents; and eliminate certain functions of the superintendents of Boards of Cooperative Educational Services

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part F – Restructure TAP awards to provide incentives for college graduation

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003 to ensure sufficient lead time for the Higher Education Services Corporation to prepare for the implementation of the TAP restructuring that would begin with the 2003-04 academic year.

Part G – Increase the fee for recording real property transfers to support State and local programs to improve real property tax administration

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part H – Extend the authorization for the State to recover from the industry the cost of appraising oil and natural gas wells for local property taxation purposes

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part I – Merge portions of the Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) Program and portions of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) and the Equipment Loan Fund for the Disabled of the Office of Children and Family Services into the Department of Labor

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003, except that provisions relating to the transfer of employees will take effect October 1, 2003 to provide sufficient advance notice to those affected and facilitate orderly transfers.

Part J – Merge the Council on Children and Families into the Office of Children and Family Services to improve coordination of services

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part K – Enhance utilization of State and local juvenile detention resources by encouraging reductions in the length of stay for youth in non-secure detention facilities

This bill will take effect October 1, 2003.

Part L – Enhance medical services to foster children placed with voluntary agencies by increasing access to managed care programs

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part M – Promote fiscal and program accountability by requiring school districts to share in the maintenance costs of children placed in private residential special education programs

This bill will take effect July 1, 2003.

Part N – Repeal the State Commission on the Quality of Foster Care that duplicates existing Office of Children and Family Services oversight responsibility

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part O – Enact the existing regulatory schedule of public assistance shelter allowances

The bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part P – Limit the pass-through of Federal Social Security Income cost-of-living adjustment benefit increases scheduled to occur on January 1, 2004

This bill will take effect December 31, 2003.

Part Q – Merge the Office of the Welfare Inspector General (OWIG) with the Audit and Quality Control (A&QC) Unit of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part R – Cap Star benefits for non-senior homeowners at current levels

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part S – Protect school taxpayers’ STAR savings by placing limitations on school budget increases

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part T – Transfer the functions of the Office of the Professions from the State Education Department to the Department of State

This bill will take effect immediately. However, the proposed transfer of professional

^ Top