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MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT

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

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to allowing the department of correctional services' division of correctional industries to purchase inmate made goods, wares and merchandise from the correctional industry programs of the government of the United States or any other state of the United States (Part A); to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to authorizing the commissioner of motor vehicles to set the fee for license plates (Part B); to amend the public lands law, in relation to expanding the allowable purposes for which unappropriated state lands may be transferred to municipalities (Part C); to amend the executive law, in relation to increasing the fee paid by nuclear power generating plant operators in support of state and local radiological emergency preparedness requirements (Part D); to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the environmental conservation law, in relation to raising the fines associated with violating certain provisions of law (Part E); to amend chapter 152 of the laws of 2001, amending the military law relating to military funds of the organized militia, in relation to the effectiveness thereof (Part F); to amend the correction law, in relation to merit time allowances, earned eligibility and presumptive release; to amend the executive law and the penal law, in relation to presumptive release; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof (Part G); to amend the penal law, the correction law, the criminal procedure law, the executive law and the village law, in relation to fees for sex offender registration and DNA databank (Part H); to amend the executive law, in relation to criminal history surcharges (Part I); to amend the executive law, in relation to extending the duration of certain pilot programs for the prevention of automobile theft and insurance fraud; to amend chapter 55 of the laws of 1992, amending the tax law generally and enacting the omnibus revenue act of 1992, in relation to extending the effectiveness of certain provisions thereof; and to amend chapter 57 of the laws of 2000, amending the state finance law, in relation to a report on automobile theft prevention activities of the state police, in relation to extending the effectiveness of certain provisions thereof (Part J); to amend the penal law, in relation to aggregate weight standards for controlled substance offenses (Part K); to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring criminal history checks (Part L); to amend chapter 887 of the laws of 1983, amending the correction law relating to the psychological testing of candidates, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 428 of the laws of 1999, amending the executive law and the criminal procedure law, relating to expanding the geographic area of employment of certain police officers, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 886 of the laws of 1972, amending the correction law and the penal law relating to prisoner furloughs in certain cases and the crime of absconding therefrom, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 261 of the laws of 1987, amending chapters 50, 53 and 54 of the laws of 1987, the correction law, the penal law and other chapters and laws relating to correctional facilities, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 55 of the laws of 1992, amending the tax law and other laws relating to taxes, surcharges, fees and funding, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 339 of the laws of 1972, amending the correction law and the penal law relating to inmate work release, furlough and leave, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 60 of the laws of 1994 relating to certain provisions which impact upon expenditure of certain appropriations made by chapter 50 of the laws of 1994 enacting the state operations budget, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 554 of the laws of 1986, amending the correction law and the penal law relating to providing for community treatment facilities and establishing the crime of absconding from the community treatment facility, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 3 of the laws of 1995, amending the correction law and other laws relating to the incarceration fee, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 79 of the laws of 1989, amending the correction law and other laws relating to release and supervision of persons serving a definite sentence, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 907 of the laws of 1984, amending the correction law, the New York city criminal court act and the executive law relating to prison and jail housing and alternatives to detention and incarceration programs, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend chapter 166 of the laws of 1991, amending the tax law and other laws relating to taxes, in relation to extending the expiration of such chapter; to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to extending certain provisions of such law; to amend chapter 713 of the laws of 1988, amending the vehicle and traffic law relating to the ignition interlock device program, in relation to extending the expiration thereof; to amend chapter 435 of the laws of 1997, amending the military law and other laws relating to various provisions, in relation to extending the expiration date of the merit provisions of the correction law and the penal law of such chapter; and to amend chapter 412 of the laws of 1999, amending the civil practice law and rules and the court of claims act relating to prisoner litigation reform, in relation to extending the expiration of the inmate filing fee provisions of the civil practice law and rules and general filing fee provision and inmate property claims exhaustion requirement of the court of claims act of such chapter (Part M); to amend the county law, the judiciary law, the vehicle and traffic law, and the state finance law, in relation to assigned counsel; to amend the state finance law, in relation to aggregate receipts from mandatory surcharges in certain cases; to amend the judiciary law, in relation to attorney registration fees; to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to parking surcharges; to amend chapter 166 of the laws of 1991, amending the tax law and other laws relating to taxes, in relation to extending of certain provisions contained therein; to amend the vehicle and traffic law, the judiciary law, the civil practice law and rules, the real property tax law, the surrogate’s court procedure act, the uniform district court act, and the New York city civil court act, in relation to civil court fee increases; to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired surcharges; and to repeal subdivision 4-a of section 510 of the vehicle and traffic law relating thereto (Part N); to amend the civil service law, the labor law, the executive law, the state finance law, the public authorities law, the retirement and social security law, the education law, the county law and the judiciary law, in relation to merging the public employment relations board and the state employment relations board, and to repeal section 702 of the labor law, relating to the state employment relations board (Part O); to amend the alcoholic beverage control law and the executive law, in relation to eliminating the state liquor authority and to provide for the continuation of the authority’s powers and duties; to amend the alcoholic beverage control law, in relation to entering an unpaid civil penalty as a judgment; and to repeal certain provisions of the alcoholic beverage control law and the executive law, relating thereto (Part P); to amend the penal law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to victim assistance fees and mandatory surcharges and to amend chapter 166 of the laws of 1991 amending the tax law and other laws relating to taxes, in relation to extending the expiration of certain provisions contained therein (Part Q); to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to the admissibility as evidence before a grand jury of a sworn statement by a police officer (Part R); to amend the executive law, in relation to the termination of a sentence (Part S); to amend the workers' compensation law and the state finance law, in relation to compensation and benefits paid by insolvent self-insured employers (Part T); to amend the general business law, in relation to broker dealer statement fees and real estate syndication offering fees (Part U); to amend the abandoned property law, in relation to the treatment of uncashed state checks as unclaimed property, to claims for abandoned property representing monies paid into court and to uniform requirements for written notice by holders to owners of unclaimed property; to amend the state finance law, in relation to making checks or drafts issued by the state of New York subject to the abandoned property law and to repeal certain provisions of the abandoned property law relating thereto (Part V); to amend the executive law, the insurance law, and the state finance law, in relation to motor vehicle law enforcement fees; to amend the executive law, in relation to the prevention of automobile theft and insurance fraud; to amend chapter 55 of the laws of 1992, amending the tax law generally and enacting the omnibus revenue act of 1992, in relation to extending the effectiveness of certain provisions relating thereto; and to amend chapter 57 of the laws of 2000, amending the executive law relating to requiring the superintendent of state police to report yearly to the governor and the legislature the auto theft prevention activities of the state police for the previous year, in relation to the effectiveness of certain provisions of such chapter (Part W); to amend chapter 411 of the laws of 1999, amending the executive law, relating to permitting the secretary of state to provide special handling for all documents filed or issued by the division of corporations and to permit additional levels of such expedited service, in relation to extending the effectiveness thereof (Part X); to amend the legislative law, in relation to the registration fees charged to certain lobbyists (Part Y); to amend the executive law, in relation to transcripts of parole board release interviews and revocation hearings (Part Z); to amend the civil service law, in relation to contributions for health insurance coverage of state employees and retired state employees (Part AA); to amend the state finance law, in relation to overpayments of salary (Part BB); to provide for the administration of certain funds and accounts related to the 2003-2004 budget; to amend the state finance law, in relation to the school tax relief fund and the debt reduction reserve fund and certificates of participation; to amend chapter 81 of the laws of 2002 relating to providing for the administration of certain funds and accounts related to the 2002-2003 budget, in relation to the expiration and repeal of certain provisions thereof; to amend chapter 389 of the laws of 1997 relating to the financing of the correctional facilities improvement fund and the youth facility improvement fund, in relation to the issuance of certain bonds, notes and other obligations by the New York state urban development corporation; to amend the private housing finance law, in relation to housing bonds and notes; to amend chapter 81 of the laws of 2002 relating to the financing of the Alfred E. Smith office building and the Elk street parking garage located in the city of Albany, in relation to the issuance of certain bonds, notes and other obligations by the New York state urban development corporation; to amend the public authorities law, in relation to state environmental infrastructure projects and certain indebtedness; to amend the state finance law and the labor law, in relation to the interest assessment surcharge fund; to amend the state finance law, in relation to variable rates and swap limitations, debt reform and bond cap limitations; to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the approval of indebtedness functions of the New York state public authorities control board; to repeal certain provisions of the state finance law relating to issuance of certificates of participation; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof (Part CC); to amend the public authorities law, in relation to financial activities of the tobacco settlement financing corporation; to amend chapter 555 of the laws of 1989 amending the public authorities law and other laws relating to establishing a new New York state infrastructure trust fund, in relation to the effectiveness of such chapter; and to create the tobacco settlement financing corporation act (Part DD); and to amend the civil service law, in relation to the consideration of ability to pay in the determination of arbitration awards; to amend the labor law, in relation to the determination of the wage paid in public construction projects; to amend the general municipal law and the public officers law, in relation to the authorization of intermunicipal agreements; to amend the general municipal law, in relation to the merger and consolidation of municipal governments; to amend the village law, in relation to adopting a plan for the dissolution of villages; to amend the state finance law, in relation to the payment of general purpose local government aid; to amend the general municipal law, the state finance law, the education law, the environmental conservation law, the highway law, the labor law, the public authorities law, the county law, the facilities development corporation act, chapter 560 of the laws of 1980 relating to authorizing the city of New York to adopt a waste management law, the urban development corporation act, chapter 345 of the laws of 1968 relating to establishing a united nations development district and formulating and administering plans for the development of such district, chapter 35 of the laws of 1979 relating to appropriating funds to the New York state urban development corporation for the acquisition and initial planning of convention and exhibition center facilities in New York county, chapter 735 of the laws of 1979 relating to providing for construction of an American stock exchange/office facility in New York county and chapter 825 of the laws of 1987 amending the public authorities law and other laws relating to the construction and improvement of court facilities, in relation to requirements for separate contracts for certain public works; to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to making certain technical corrections and to amend the general municipal law, the public housing law, the state finance law and chapter 585 of the laws of 1939 relating to the rate of interest to be paid by certain public corporations upon judgments and accrued claims, in relation to the rate of interest on judgments; to amend the education law, the public authorities law, the public housing law, the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, and the New York city health and hospitals corporation act, in relation to providing for the exclusive jurisdiction of the court of claims over claims against boards of education and school districts, the community colleges of the city university of New York, the New York city transit authority, the metropolitan transportation authority, the triborough bridge and tunnel authority, the New York city housing authority, the New York city off-track betting corporation and the New York city health and hospitals corporation, and claims against the officers and employees thereof that arise out of their employment, for damages for personal injury, injury to property and wrongful death; to amend the state finance law, the general municipal law, and the public authorities law, in relation to municipal investment opportunities; to amend chapter 130 of the laws of 1998 amending the general municipal law relating to temporary investments by local governments, in relation to making the provisions of such chapter permanent; to amend the general municipal law, in relation to authorizing fees for police services and fees and charges for emergency medical services; to amend the local finance law and the retirement and social security law, in relation to payments of contributions, incentives and obligations; to amend the education law, the general municipal law, the public authorities law, the state finance law and the local finance law, in relation to fiscal stability and fiscal recovery financing by local governments and establishing a comprehensive process of identification, oversight and monitoring of and assistance to local governments undergoing financial difficulties, and to provide for fiscal recovery financing; to repeal certain provisions of chapter 413 of the laws of 1991 amending the local finance law and other laws relating to providing relief to local governments for certain mandated programs and services, and repealing section 101 of the general municipal law, section 135 of the state finance law, section 151-a of the public housing law, subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 458 of the education law, subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 482 of the education law, section 6281 of the education law, paragraph f of subdivision 27 of section 1680 of the public authorities law, paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 1734 of the public authorities law, subdivision 2 of section 2350-o of the public authorities law, paragraph (a) of subdivision 6 of section 2466 of the public authorities law, subdivision 1 of section 2722 of the public authorities law, subdivisions (d) and (e) of rule 4111 of the civil practice law and rules, section 11 of chapter 795 of the laws of 1967, relating to the construction of boards of cooperative educational services buildings, section 9 of chapter 892 of the laws of 1971 amending the public authorities law relating to construction by the dormitory authority, section 21 of chapter 464 of the laws of 1972 amending the public authorities law and other laws relating to providing facilities for community colleges and the powers of the state university trustees, and section 29 of chapter 337 of the laws of 1972, amending the correction law and other laws relating to facilities for the department of correctional services; and to repeal subdivisions (a) and (b) of section 4545 of the civil practice law and rules, relating to the admissibility of collateral source of payment and the associated reduction of damage awards in certain malpractice actions and in certain actions for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of an injury sustained by a public employee acting in the scope of his public employment or duties, relating thereto (Part EE)

PURPOSE:

This bill contains provisions needed to implement the Public Protection and General Government portion of the 2003-04 Executive Budget.

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

Part A – Enable reciprocal purchasing by Corcraft with other states and the Federal government

This bill permits the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) to purchase inmate-made goods from any governmental correctional industry program on behalf of the Division of Correctional Industries (Corcraft).

Effective immediately, this bill amends the General Business Law to allow Corcraft to purchase parts and components produced by inmate labor in correctional industry programs of the government of the United States, any state of the United States, or any political subdivision.

Currently, Section 69 of the General Business Law allows Corcraft to sell inmate-made goods, wares or merchandise to the United States government, any state or any local political subdivision. However, there is no express provision permitting Corcraft to purchase inmate-made items from those same entities.

Bills were introduced in the 1999-00 and 2001-02 legislative sessions which enabled reciprocal purchasing arrangements.

This bill allows Corcraft to enhance its business opportunities. The current restriction on purchasing goods from other states’ industry programs decreases Corcraft’s business potential because some states limit purchases from other correctional industry enterprises with such restrictions. With an expanded business market, Corcraft can increase its revenues and maintain a positive fund balance.

Part B – Authorize the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to increase the fee charged for motor vehicle license plates

This bill permits the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to increase the price of license plates to consumers.

Effective immediately, this bill amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law to allow the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles to set the cost of license plates without any limitations.

The cost of license plates is established pursuant to section 401 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law which currently allows the price of license plates to be set at $1.50 above the actual cost of the plates, rounded to the nearest $.25.

The authority for setting license plate fees was last amended in 1991.

Under the authority granted the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles by this bill, the cost of license plates will increase in 2003 from $5.50 to $15.00 a pair for standard Empire license plates and from $2.75 to $7.50 a pair for motorcycle plates. Approximately $21.7 million in additional revenue will be generated to support criminal justice programs.

Of this additional revenue, $2 million will be used to reimburse and support the Department of Correctional Services Industries Program (Corcraft) for operating and production costs incurred in manufacturing license plates.

Part C – Expand designated acceptable uses of surplus State armories that are transferred to local municipalities to include government purposes

This bill adds “governmental purposes” to the list of allowable purposes for which unneeded real property of the State, which was formerly devoted to use by the organized militia, may be transferred to incorporated localities.

This bill amends section 34 of the Public Lands Law to allow the State to transfer surplus armories to incorporated cities, villages, towns or counties for local governmental purposes.

Under current law, the State may only transfer surplus armories to an incorporated municipality if the former armory will be used by the municipality for certain designated purposes following transfer. The current allowable local uses are: parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities, mental health facilities, mental retardation facilities, reforestation, streets or highways.

In 2002, Article VII legislation was proposed to include governmental purposes among the allowable purposes for which all unneeded State real property could be transferred to incorporated localities.

Current law precludes the State from transferring real property, including State armories, to interested municipalities for conversion to local government offices or support facilities. The Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA) has determined that a number of its armories are no longer needed to effectively support the State’s organized militia. Since many of the properties in question are proximate to local government centers, this bill will enable localities to acquire such surplus properties and convert them to local government uses.

Part D – Increase fees paid by operators of the six nuclear power reactors to fund enhanced State and local emergency preparedness

This bill adjusts the fees paid by nuclear electric generating facility operators to support local and State Radiological Emergency Preparedness activities.

Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 29-c of the Executive Law is amended to change the annual fee per nuclear reactor from $550,000 to $950,000. The new revenue will be divided among the State and certain localities pursuant to an existing statutory formula.

In 1981, a fee of $250,000 per reactor was set. It was increased to $550,000 in 1994.

Since the September 2001 terrorist attacks, concerns about the potential for nuclear power plants as terrorist targets have resulted in a dramatic increase in emergency preparedness activities and security measures by the State and localities. This bill will help State and local disaster preparedness agencies offset the costs of meeting their growing responsibilities for protecting those living or working near nuclear power facilities.

Part E – Increase Justice Court Fund fine amounts

This bill increases certain Vehicle and Traffic Law fines and Environmental Conservation Law fines by 50 percent.

Effective April 1, 2003, sections 1-20 of the bill amend multiple sections of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Fines for various traffic infractions and other vehicle violations are increased by 50 percent of the previous amount. These fines are related to speeding, failure to stop, reckless driving, speed contests, equipment violations, inappropriate weights and dimensions of trucks, expired registration of vehicles, driver’s license violations, and insurance violations.

Sections 21-41 of the bill amend multiple sections of the Environmental Conservation Law. Fines and civil penalties for violating various provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law are increased by 50 percent. These fines are related to unlawful sewage discharge, water pollution, hazardous waste disposal, air pollution, and the collection, treatment, and disposal of refuse and other solid waste.

Where a range for a fine imposition exists, the minimum and maximum amount have been increased by 50 percent of the previous amount.

Generally, the amounts associated with the fines raised in this bill have not been raised in more than 10 years. Increased fine amounts will serve to make those who violate the law more accountable for their actions, as well as provide an added deterrent to others.

Damage to the State’s environment and the unsafe operation of motor vehicles represent financial burdens to the State and its taxpayers. The costs associated with law enforcement rise every year. Increasing the fines associated with motor vehicle and environmental conservation violations will allow the State to offset the rising cost of law enforcement.

This bill provides financial relief to the State and cities, towns and villages for the costs of law enforcement.

Part F – Make permanent the provisions for deposit of revenues into the armory rental account

This bill makes permanent the practice of depositing all receipts resulting from the rental of State armories into a dedicated special revenue account.

This bill permanently amends subdivision 5 of section 183 of the Military Law to require that all revenue resulting from the rental or non-military use of State armories be deposited into a specific special revenue account.

Presently, Section 1 of Chapter 152 of the Laws of 2001, which authorizes these deposits, expires on July 31, 2003.

In 1996 the deposit of all armory rental revenue receipts into a specific special revenue account was authorized and subsequently it was extended in 1997, 1999, and 2001.

The deposit of 100 percent of armory rental revenue into the dedicated Armory Rental Account has enabled the armories to annually offset more than $2 million in non-personal service operating costs, allowing the State to reduce its General Fund support of armory operations accordingly. Without an extension of these statutory provisions, half of the armory rental revenue will ultimately be returned to Guard units across the State.

Part G – Authorize non-violent inmates with exemplary program participation and disciplinary records, to be released from incarceration under certain conditions

This bill provides increased opportunities for appropriate non-violent offenders to return to society after showing progress toward rehabilitation.

The Correction, Executive and Penal laws are amended to:

Currently, Section 803 of the Correction Law allows certain nonviolent offenders, not including class A-1 drug offenders, serving indeterminate sentences to earn a one-sixth reduction off their minimum sentence if they successfully participate in certain programming objectives, while avoiding serious disciplinary charges.

Section 805 of the Correction Law allows all inmates serving an indeterminate sentence of 6 years or less to participate in the Earned Eligibility Program.

This bill permits non-violent inmates with excellent program participation, no history of violence and a positive disciplinary record to be eligible for early release. This will ensure that adequate prison space is available to confine violent offenders for longer periods of time as a result of determinate sentencing.

This bill also provides prison administrators with a valuable prison management tool as it will give inmates a greater incentive to behave and avoid disciplinary problems.

Early release from prison for eligible inmates will not jeopardize public safety since the Department of Correctional Services will continue to evaluate each case on an individual basis and limit early release opportunities to certain nonviolent offenders.

Part H – Impose various fees relating to sex offender registration

This bill imposes a $50 sex offender registration fee; a $10 sex offender registration change fee; and a $50 DNA databank fee on offenders.

The Sex Offender Registration Act, Article 6-C of the Correction Law, establishes that offenders convicted of certain sexual offenses are required to register personal data with the Sex Offender Registry at specified intervals.

Article 49-B of the Executive Law establishes the DNA databank and provides that offenders convicted of certain offenses submit a DNA sample to be included in the databank.

This bill amends the Penal Law to require that individuals convicted of sex offenses, who are required to register with the Sex Offender Registry, pay a sex offender registration fee of $50. The bill also establishes that offenders who are required to submit a DNA sample for the DNA databank must pay a fee of $50. The bill’s procedures, conditions and penalties related to payment of these fees are similar to those of the mandatory surcharge imposed on convictions of Penal Law offenses.

This bill also amends the Correction Law to impose a $10 sex offender registration change fee. This fee would be assessed each time a registered sex offender files a change of address or status of enrollment, attendance, employment or residence at any college or university as required by the Sex Offender Registration Act.

The actions of sex offenders and other criminals result in costs for law enforcement, the judicial system, corrections, and victim services. This bill holds these offenders accountable for some of the costs associated with the Sex Offender Registry and the DNA databank.

Part I – Increase the State’s fingerprinting fee to fund criminal justice technology requirements

This bill increases the additional surcharge for a criminal history records search by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) from $25 to $50 to generate funds to support criminal justice technology needs.

This bill amends the Executive Law to increase from $25 to $50 the additional surcharge imposed when DCJS conducts a criminal history records search. The bill directs that 50 percent of this surcharge be deposited in a new Fingerprint Identification and Technology Account.

Executive Law section 837, subdivision 8-a provides that DCJS charge a fee and an additional surcharge when it conducts a criminal history records search in connection with an employment or license application. Both the fee and additional surcharge are each statutorily set at $25, and all revenue is deposited into the General Fund. In 1994, the fee was raised from $14 to $25 and the additional $25 surcharge was instituted.

Criminal justice technology in New York is in need of upgrade and continuous maintenance. Raising the fingerprint surcharge and establishing a new account will provide a dedicated revenue source to fund criminal justice technology needs in the State. These funds will help to ensure that New York’s law enforcement community continues to have the tools necessary to provide for the public’s safety.

Part J – Extend the authorization for the New York Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Demonstration Program

This bill extends the current expiration date for the New York Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Demonstration Program and related funding provisions.

Section 1 of this bill amends Chapter 55 of the Laws of 1992, as amended, to extend the Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Demonstration Program to July 1, 2006.

Section 2 of this bill amends subdivision (bbb) of section 427 of Chapter 55 of the laws of 1992, as amended, to extend to July 1, 2006 the Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Fund, which authorizes the collection of insurance fees to support anti-auto theft programs. This fund is governed by State Finance Law section 89-d and Insurance Law section 9110.

Section 3 amends section 9 of part T of Chapter 57 of the laws of 2000 to extend for 3 years the requirement mandating the Division of State Police to submit a report detailing the automobile theft prevention activities of the State Police for the previous year.

Currently, the Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Fund collects approximately $4.4 million annually from insurance fees. These funds support local anti-auto theft and insurance fraud prevention programs under the Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Demonstration Program.

This program, which was last extended in 2000, combats automobile theft and insurance fraud, crimes that have a combined estimated cost of billions of dollars to New Yorkers each year, by funding local initiatives for the prevention and deterrence of auto theft and related insurance fraud.

The combined efforts of law enforcement, prosecution and local prevention strategies are expected to substantially reduce insurance costs to New Yorkers. Extending the expiration date for an additional 3 years is necessary to gain the maximum benefit, since many programs and initiatives have only recently been developed.

Part K – Permit a new standard using “aggregate weight” for lab analysis of illegal drug evidence

This bill allows more timely processing of forensic evidence and conforms New York State Penal Law to other states by measuring controlled substances in terms of aggregate rather than pure weight in defining quantities for various drug offense levels.

Sections 220.06, 220.09, 220.16, 220.18, 220.21, 220.34, 220.39, 220.41 and 220.43 of the Penal Law are amended to adopt appropriate aggregate weight, rather than pure weight, standards for defining quantities of controlled substances for various levels of drug offenses.

Article 220 of the Penal Law contains numerous sections that address controlled substances and specifies criminal offenses based on the weight of the drug. Currently, Article 220, depending on the particular drug and/or level of offense, utilizes a combination of “aggregate” or “pure weight” standards. Chapter 537 of the laws of 1998 previously amended sections 220.06, 220.09 and 220.34 for minor technical corrections.

Whenever the pure weight standard is used it creates 2 burdensome obligations for forensic laboratories: the task to develop a scientifically valid method to quantify the drug; and the time consuming effort to perform a quantitative analysis to extract the pure drug from the substance submitted for testing. These actions are necessary to determine if the pure weight of the drug meets the statutory threshold(s) for various drug offenses.

New York is currently the only state in the nation that maintains both aggregate and pure weight standards in determining the level of drug offense. This bill eliminates the pure weight standard and implements an aggregate weight standard alone.

Adoption of a uniform aggregate weight standard will provide numerous benefits to police agencies and prosecutors without compromising the interests of persons charged with controlled substance offenses. Under the current law, laboratories cannot meet the needs of the judicial system and a number of cases are being dismissed due to backlogs at forensic labs. Adoption of an aggregate weight standard would reduce the number of dismissals and avoid the need to increase laboratory spending to process evidence in a timely manner. Implementing an aggregate weight standard would also bring New York laws in conformity with other states and with Federal law.

Part L – Require Hazardous Material license holders to undergo a criminal history background check

This bill requires all applicants for a hazardous materials driver’s license to submit their fingerprints for a criminal history records check. The applicant would submit fingerprints and the required State and Federal fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which would then transmit the fingerprints and fees to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). DCJS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would return any criminal history record to DMV. DMV would review the criminal history record for a conviction of any felony or terrorism related offense and determine whether the applicant should be granted the hazardous materials endorsement.

Section 501 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law requires an additional endorsement for a driver to transport hazardous materials. The Department of Motor Vehicles sets forth regulations regarding the requirements for obtaining this endorsement.

Recent events have heightened awareness about the dangers inherent in the transportation of hazardous materials. To more effectively mitigate the prospect of a vehicle loaded with hazardous materials being used to carry out an act of terror, this bill requires that drivers undergo a criminal background check before obtaining the hazardous materials endorsement. This requirement will help to deter and detect those that should be excluded from transporting materials.

Part M – Extend various criminal justice programs and fees due to expire

This bill extends various criminal justice programs and fees, that would otherwise expire in 2003, through 2005.

The provisions of law cited in the following sections are extended an additional 2 years.

Section 1 of the bill amends section 2 of Chapter 887 of the laws of 1983 to extend provisions related to the psychological testing of correction officer candidates.

Section 2 of the bill amends section 3 of Chapter 428 of the laws of 1999 to extend provisions relating to expanding the geographic area of employment of certain police officers.

Section 3 of the bill amends section 3 of Chapter 886 of the Laws of 1972 to extend provisions related to prisoner furloughs and the crime of absconding from a facility.

Section 4 of the bill amends section 20 of Chapter 261 of the Laws of 1987 to extend the Earned Eligibility program.

Section 5 of the bill amends subdivision q of section 427 of Chapter 55 of the Laws of 1992 to extend a provision of the Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse (CASAT) program which allows inmates to enter a residential treatment facility upon successful completion of the CASAT program.

Section 6 of the bill amends section 10 of Chapter 339 of the Laws of 1972 to extend the Temporary Release program.

Section 7 of the bill amends subdivision c of section 46 of Chapter 60 of the Laws of 1994 to extend provisions which designate the capacity of the Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse (CASAT) program and limit eligibility for the Temporary Release program.

Section 8 of the bill amends section 5 of Chapter 554 of the Laws of 1986 to extend provisions related to community treatment facilities and the crime of absconding from a community treatment facility.

Section 9 of the bill amends subdivision h of section 74 of Chapter 3 of the Laws of 1995 to extend provisions related to the incarceration fee.

Section 10 of the bill amends section 7 of Chapter 79 of the Laws of 1989 to extend the Local Conditional Release Law.

Section 11 of the bill amends subdivision z of section 427 of Chapter 55 of the Laws of 1992 to extend the Parole supervision fee.

Section 12 of the bill amends subdivision (aa) of section 427 of Chapter 55 of the Laws of 1992 to extend provisions related to the DWI and custody investigation fees.

Section 13 of the bill amends section 12 of Chapter 907 of the Laws of 1984 to extend the provisions of the Classification/Alternatives to Incarceration law.

Sections 14 and 15 of the bill amend section 406 of Chapter 166 of the Laws of 1991 and subdivision 8 of section 1809 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law relating to parking violations and surcharges.

Section 16 of the bill amends subdivision (r) of section 427 of Chapter 55 of the Laws of 1992 to extend provisions related to release of inmates on medical parole.

Section 17 of the bill amends section 6 of Chapter 713 of the Laws of 1988 to extend the ignition interlock device program.

Section 18 of the bill amends subdivision 6 of Section 76 of Chapter 435 of the Laws of 1997 to extend merit time.

Section 19 of the bill amends part D of Chapter 412 of the Laws of 1999 to extend provisions related to prisoner litigation reform.

Presently, the provisions of law cited in the various sections of the bill are due to expire as follows: sections 1, 3 through 13, 16, 18 and 19 on September 1, 2003; sections 2 and 14 on November 1, 2003; section 15 on October 31, 2003; and section 17 on July 1, 2003.

Legislation similar to sections 1 through 17 and 18 through 19 of the bill was enacted in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

These criminal justice programs and fees provide incentives for inmate rehabilitation and mitigate the need to expand general confinement space.

This bill extends provisions of the Correction and Penal laws pertaining to Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT) programs and temporary release programs. These provisions authorize the assignment of eligible non-violent inmates to residential treatment facilities, work release or community service programs. These ongoing programs reduce demand for general confinement prison capacity. Approximately 833 inmates are currently assigned to CASAT programs, and approximately 1,541 inmates participate in work release. Should authorization for these programs expire, the demand for space in prison facilities would increase, substantially increasing operating costs.

Part N – Increase hourly rates for court-appointed counsel; increase a variety of Vehicle and Traffic surcharges, Civil Court and other fees

This bill provides hourly rate increases to assigned counsel (Article 18-B of the County Law); provides revenue to help support such increases; provides additional revenue for the Court Facilities Incentive Aid Fund; and provides fiscal relief to the “Big Six” cities and the General Fund. New fees and a number of fee increases are established to support these objectives.

Sections 1 through 3 of the bill raise the hourly rates paid to assigned counsel and law guardians to $75 per hour for felony and family court work and $60 per hour for other work by amending sections 722-b and 722-c of the County Law and section 35 of the Judiciary Law.

Section 11 of the bill establishes the Indigent Legal Services Fund by adding section 98-b to the State Finance Law.

Sections 4 through 10 and 12 through 15 of the bill provide revenue sources for the Indigent Legal Services Fund as follows:

  1. Sections 4 through 10 establish a new Driver’s License Reinstatement (Scofflaw) Surcharge of $35 by amending sections 226, 227, 503, 510, 514 and 1809 of the Vehicle and Traffic (V&T) Law.
  2. Sections 12 and 13 of the bill increase the data processing fee collected by the Office of Court Administration (OCA) for criminal history searches from $16 to $43. Section 94-b of the State Finance Law is amended so that the incremental increase of $27 from each search will be deposited into the Indigent Legal Services Fund.
  3. Section 14 adds a new subdivision 3-a to section 121 of the State Finance Law that provides for the deposit of increased V&T mandatory surcharge fee increases collected by DMV administrative tribunals and town and village courts into the Indigent Legal Services Fund.
  4. Section 15 of the bill amends section 468-a of the Judiciary Law to increase the biennial attorney registration fee from $300 to $350. The incremental increase will be deposited into the Indigent Legal Services Fund.

Sections 16 through 32 of the bill increase revenues for local governments, the General Fund and the Court Facilities Incentive Aid Fund as follows:

  1. Sections 16 through 18 of the bill increase the mandatory parking surcharge from $5 to $15 by amending the Vehicle and Traffic (V&T) Law, sections 235 and 1809-a. The surcharge is collected by Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers. Revenues would continue to be split between the General Fund and each city that collects the surcharge.
  2. Sections 19 through 31 of the bill increase numerous civil court fees by 25 percent by amending several laws. The bill also proposes two new Civil Court motion fees of $35 for Supreme and Appellate courts. The bill retains present provisions in law which transfer a portion of these fees to the Court Facilities Incentive Aid Fund.
  3. Section 32 of the bill imposes a new $25 surcharge on DWI and DWAI convictions to be deposited in the General Fund.

The reimbursement rates for assigned counsel and law guardians are currently set at $40 per hour for in-court and $25 per hour for other work. Counties are responsible for assigned counsel costs and the State is responsible for the law guardian costs.

The majority of fees and surcharges included in this bill presently exist. The data processing fee is set administratively and has not been increased since its inception ten years ago. The attorney registration fee, Civil Court fees and the parking surcharges have not been increased since 1991. The V&T mandatory surcharges were last increased in 2000.

The Court Facilities Incentive Aid Fund (CFIA) was established pursuant to Chapter 825 of the Laws of 1987. Section 94 of the State Finance Law prescribes that one-half of the Civil Court fee revenue above the 1986-87 base year revenue be transferred annually to CFIA.

Chapter 166 of the Laws of 1991 established the parking surcharge and prescribed that the revenue be divided evenly between each city that collects the surcharge and the State’s General Fund.

Assigned counsel rates have not been increased in 17 years and are generally acknowledged to be too low to assure an adequate supply of attorneys willing to participate. This bill increases the rates and provides sufficient revenue to cover the State’s estimated annual costs ($24 million) and to allow creation of a local assistance program that would effectively reimburse one-half of the local cost increase ($40 million).

The Court Facilities Incentive Aid Fund provides financial assistance to local governments for the construction and maintenance of court facilities. Increasing Civil Court fees and imposing Supreme and Appellate motion fees helps ensure that annual revenues more closely approximate projected annual costs.

Increased V&T surcharges serve to make those who violate the law more accountable for their actions, as well as providing an added deterrent to others. The DWI/DWAI surcharge ensures that drunk driving offenders contribute to funding the State’s activities to combat the problem of drunk driving.

Other fee increases, such as the 25 percent increase for Civil Court fees, have not been increased in more than ten years while the rate of inflation has exceeded 40 percent during this time period. The parking surcharge has not been increased since its inception in 1991 and will generate substantial revenue, including an estimated $29 million for New York City alone.

Currently, there are no fees imposed for filing motions in Supreme or Appellate courts in New York State. A number of other states, however, impose motion fees at rates similar to the recommended new fee of $35. A motion fee, unlike a filing fee, does not restrict access to the courts in the first instance. It can be further argued that those who consume more of the judicial system’s resources should pay accordingly.

Part O – Merge the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) into a new Public and Private Employment Relations Board (PPERB)

This bill merges the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) and the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) into a single agency called the Public and Private Employment Relations Board (PPERB). This agency will be responsible for providing labor mediation and other services to both public and private employers and their employee unions.

This bill amends the Civil Service Law, the Labor Law and other statutes to merge
PERB and SERB into the consolidated Public and Private Employment Relations Board. Specifically, this bill will:

PERB is established in Article 14 of the Civil Service Law and is charged with assisting State and local governments and their unions in resolving labor impasses by providing mediation services. The Board also certifies unions and reviews improper labor practices. SERB, created by Article 20 of the Labor Law, provides mediation and related services to private businesses and their unions and is also involved in resolving improper labor practices.

The merger of the Public Employment Relations Board and the State Employment Relations Board creates a single entity responsible for assisting the public and private sectors in resolving labor impasses. This bill establishes a single agency with an appropriately broad policy perspective in the critical area of labor relations. In addition, this consolidation creates efficiencies through shared staffing and it is expected to generate further economies in the future from shared office space.

Part P – Abolish the State Liquor Authority; transfer its functions to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC); and authorize ABC to file default judgments for unpaid penalties

This bill streamlines and strengthens oversight of the alcoholic beverage industry by eliminating the State Liquor Authority and providing for the continuation of the Authority’s basic duties and functions by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. It also provides an additional enforcement mechanism to ensure payment of penalties.

This bill amends various sections of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Law and the Executive Law to abolish the State Liquor Authority (SLA), transfer the responsibilities of the Authority to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, shift the responsibilities of the three member State Liquor Authority to a Director, and strengthen agency revenue collections by authorizing the Division to enter into default judgments against licensees who fail to pay a civil penalty after a written demand for payment has been sent.

Article 2 of the ABC Law and Article 14 of the Executive Law establish the State Liquor Authority, a 3 member board appointed by the Governor, to direct the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The Authority has the power to issue and revoke licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages, appoint officers of the Division, establish rules and standards for the production, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages, and hold hearings on license applications and alleged violations of the ABC Law.

Currently, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is statutorily authorized to impose a civil penalty on licensees who violated the ABC Law. However, absent revoking a license, no authority exists to enforce payment of unpaid penalties.

Similar bills abolishing the State Liquor Authority were introduced with the 1997-98 and 1999-00 Executive Budgets.

Eliminating the Authority will place clear responsibility for agency policies and practice, as well as accountability for the State’s alcoholic beverage licensing and enforcement activities, with the Director. In so doing, it will streamline operations, decrease the time it takes to process applications and disciplinary actions, and enhance the enforcement of ABC Laws. Existing due process safeguards for licensees and permit holders accused of violating alcoholic beverage control laws are not affected by the elimination of the Authority. Determinations in disciplinary proceedings previously made by the SLA Board will become the responsibility of the Director.

Finally, permitting the Division to enter a default judgment against a licensee, when a civil penalty is due, would augment the State’s receipt of penalty revenues which are due and owed.

Part Q – Increase various mandatory surcharges on Penal Law and Vehicle and Traffic Law offenses

This bill increases the mandatory surcharges and crime victim assistance fees levied on offenders to offset the increasing cost of crime victim services.

This bill amends sections of the Penal and Vehicle and Traffic laws to increase fees and surcharges levied on offenders. Specifically, the bill increases the existing crime victim assistance fee on felonies, misdemeanors, and Penal Law violations from $10 to $20. The bill enacts a crime victim assistance fee of five dollars on all Vehicle and Traffic Law violations and infractions. Additionally, the mandatory surcharge, ranging from $20 to $200 and assessed based on conviction type, is increased by approximately 35 percent. The surcharge and fee cap provided for offenders convicted of one or more traffic violations or infractions arising from the same offense is increased from $50 to $100.

Section 60.35 of the Penal Law mandates that persons convicted of felonies, misdemeanors, and violations pay a crime victim assistance fee of $10 and a mandatory surcharge of $200, $110, and $50, respectively. Section 1809 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law mandates that persons convicted of felonies and misdemeanors pay a crime victim assistance fee of $10 and a mandatory surcharge of $200 and $110, respectively. This section also mandates that persons convicted of traffic infractions and equipment violations pay a mandatory surcharge of $30 and $20, respectively. Revenue from the crime victim assistance fee and the Penal Law mandatory surcharge is deposited in the Criminal Justice Improvement Account (CJIA), which funds services and compensation to victims. Revenue from the Vehicle and Traffic Law mandatory surcharge is credited to CJIA if imposed in State court, and to the General Fund if imposed in an administrative tribunal or town or village court.

As the Crime Victims Board’s expenditures continue to grow as a result of increases in the number of victims compensated and the value of claims, it is necessary to identify an appropriate and reliable source of additional revenue. The mandatory surcharge and crime victim assistance fee are an effective means of making offenders accountable for the harm caused by their offense. The mandatory surcharges and crime victim assistance fees were last increased in 2000. Increasing these surcharges and fees at this time will help to ensure that offenders, as a class, cover the cost of compensating victims of crime.

Part R – Permit grand jury testimony by police officers to be provided by affidavit rather than requiring personal appearance

Section 190.30 of the Criminal Procedure Law is amended to permit police officers to provide a sworn written or oral statement into evidence for grand jury proceedings. A police officer is defined within Section 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law and includes members of the Division of State Police, sheriffs and their deputies, authorized police departments, investigators employed in a district attorney’s office, and other enforcement officers.

Section 190.30 of the Criminal Procedure Law covers the rules of evidence for grand jury proceedings. It establishes rules concerning professional reports prepared by public servants or from others employed in scientific or additional professional fields. It also covers what is permissible within written or oral statements submitted under oath for grand jury proceedings.

Chapter 453 of the Laws of 1999 last amended Section 190.30 to allow certain sex offender registration forms, or copies of such forms maintained and certified by the Division of Criminal Justice Services, to be admitted as evidence in grand jury proceedings.

Law enforcement agencies expend significant public funds for officers to appear before grand jury proceedings, frequently on an overtime basis. Often there are time delays in such cases, requiring sworn police members to wait for a particular case to be called. Permitting sworn statements to be submitted to grand juries instead of personal appearances will generate significant savings in time and money for State and local law enforcement agencies.

Part S – Authorize the Division of Parole to grant merit termination of sentence for non-violent parolees for specific classes of felonies

This bill authorizes the Division of Parole to grant a merit termination of sentence from parole, presumptive release or conditional release to certain non-violent offenders.

This legislation amends the Executive Law by granting a merit termination of sentence to certain non-violent parolees and conditional or presumptive releasees who have served at least 1 year on parole supervision, providing that they have not been convicted of any new offense or engaged in any behavior that is deemed a significant violation of the conditions under which they were released. Non-violent felony offenders convicted of an A felony defined in Article 220 of the Penal Law will be eligible for merit termination of sentence after 2 years on parole supervision and non-violent offenders convicted of a B, C, D, or E felony will be eligible after 1 year.

The Board of Parole is authorized to grant an absolute discharge from parole or conditional release when the parolee or conditional releasee has been on unrevoked community supervision for a period of at least 3 consecutive years, release is in the best interest of society, and the releasee has no pending restitution matters.

Over 80 percent of the parolees who return to prison for either technical rule violations or for committing new crimes do so during the first 12 months of Parole supervision. This bill allows Parole staff to maintain appropriate levels of public safety by allowing a merit termination of sentence to be denied if a releasee engages in any behavior that is deemed a significant violation of the conditions governing their release.

Only releasees who do not have a violent criminal history will be eligible for a merit termination of sentence. Approximately 28 percent of the 50,800 felony offenders under Parole supervision during 2003-04 will be Violent Felony Offenders (VFO).

Part T – Authorize the Workers’ Compensation Board to make certain payments on behalf of insolvent self-insured private employers, outside of State appropriated funds

This bill moves the payments made by the Workers’ Compensation Board on behalf of insolvent self-insured private employers to sole custody non-appropriated funds.

The State Finance Law and the Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) are amended to require that certain compensation and benefits paid by the Workers’ Compensation Board, otherwise payable by insolvent self-insured private employers, and any related appropriated administrative expenses, will not be paid out of the administrative expenses of the Board.

Subdivision 5(f) of Section 50 of WCL requires that compensation and benefits when paid by the Workers’ Compensation Board, in lieu of payments from insolvent self-insured employers, are drawn from the Board’s administrative expenses. There is no explicit statutory provision for the payment of the administrative expenses specifically related to the insolvent employer payments.

Presently, the Board must request Special Revenue-Other (SRO) appropriation increases to accommodate payments to former employees of self-insured employers that have exhausted their surety bond. Each year, the compensation and benefit payments made on behalf of these insolvent firms create a potential funding problem for the Board. Because the Board has no control over when increased appropriations may be needed during a given State fiscal year, this lack of predictability could compromise the Board’s ability to adequately respond to all such future payment requirements.

Additionally, the movement of these types of payments to sole custody non-appropriated funding is consistent with the treatment of other similar payments made under the Board’s non-appropriated Special Funds such as the Fund for Reopened Cases and the Second Injury Fund.

Part U – Increase several real estate and security broker related fees in the Department of Law

This bill increases several Department of Law fees in the General Business Law, including broker-dealer statement and real estate syndication offering fees.

This bill amends General Business Law §359-e (5) subsections A through H to increase fees for entities and individuals engaging in buying and selling securities from or to the public by 50 percent. The proposed new fees are as follows:

fees
SubSection Fee Description Existing Fee Proposed New Fee
A - broker-dealer’s statement (firms) $800 $1,200
B - statements in excess of $500,000 (individuals) $800 $1,200
C - statements of $500,000 or less (individuals) $200 $300
D - property securities sales $10/200 $15/300
E - salesman’s statements $100 $150
F - supplemental salesman’s statement $20 $30
G - sale of capital stocks $200 $300
H - issuance of no filing required letter $150 $225

General Business Law §359-e (5) requires entities and individuals engaged in buying and selling securities from or to the public in New York State to file a registration statement with the Department of Law every 4 years. This statement includes information pertaining to the brokers’/dealers' business history for the past 5 years, criminal history and educational background of the applicant and his or her associates. Supplemental statements must be submitted when necessary to update the information on file. The Department of Law reviews these statements to ensure that those who engage in the securities business in this State are fit to do so. Currently, the fee that must accompany broker/dealer registrations is $200 for a filing by individuals that offer for sale securities that are less than $500,000 in value, and for registrations by any broker/dealer firms. The fee is $800 for registration filings by open-end investment companies and for brokers/dealers that offer for sale securities in excess of $500,000.

This bill also amends section 352-e (7)(a) to increase the real estate syndication offering fee from $500 to $750 on offerings of less than $250,000 and from two-tenths to four-tenths of 1 percent on offerings in excess of $250,000. Fees are also increased from $150 to $225 for each amendment to an offering statement, for “no filing required” letters, and for “testing the market” applications where no actual sales will occur. The minimum fee for applications for exemptions would increase from $500 to $750.

General Business Law §352-e (7)(a) requires sponsors of condominium and cooperative projects to file offering plans with the Attorney General, which include detailed financial and engineering reports. These documents are thoroughly reviewed by a team of technical experts, and subject to negotiation and amendments if changes are necessary. Various fees are charged to reflect the regulatory and review functions performed by the Attorney General’s staff.

Despite increased costs of processing and reviewing the various filings required to protect the investing public, the broker/dealer and real estate offering filing fees have not been adjusted since 1989. This bill makes appropriate adjustments to these fees to reflect inflation that has occurred since 1989, in accordance with increases in the Consumer Price Index.

Part V – Conform the negotiable period for State issued checks to banking industry standards

This bill conforms State practices to banking industry standards by having uncashed State checks more than one year old subject to the Abandoned Property Law (APL).

Section 1 of this bill repeals subdivision 6 of section 301 of the APL;

Section 2 makes corresponding changes to section 300 of the APL;

Section 3 amends section 1315 of the APL to treat State issued checks, that remain uncashed after one year from the date of issuance, as unclaimed miscellaneous property;

Section 4 repeals subdivision 7 of section 1317 of the APL, which requires written notice by first class mail to owners of property that will be reported to the Comptroller as abandoned;

Section 5 amends section 1406 of the APL to increase from $1,500 to $5,000 the threshold below which the Comptroller can administratively determine that eligible claimants are entitled to the return of court-held abandoned property. If the value of the abandoned property claim exceeds $5,000, a court order will continue to be required.

Section 6 creates a new section 1422 of the APL, which revises provisions requiring holders of abandoned property to notify the owners by first class mail before the property is remitted to the Comptroller. If the value of the property exceeds $1,000 (subdivision 7 of section 1317 of the APL set the threshold at $100) the holder is required to send a second notice by certified mail, prior to the property being remitted.

Section 7 amends section 102 of the State Finance Law to reduce the time that a State check remains negotiable from three years to one year. Section 102 further is amended to credit unpaid State checks to the Abandoned Property Fund, rather than the General Fund.

Section 102 of the State Finance Law provides that all State checks are negotiable for a period of 3 years from the date of issue. After 3 years the checks are written-off and credited to the General Fund.

Currently, holders of abandoned property are subject to different requirements for notifying property owners, depending on the type of property and/or holder.

There have been similar bills introduced (by the Attorney General and the Comptroller) since 1999.

This bill will make State checks negotiable for only 1 year, thereby more closely conforming State practices to current banking industry standards, which call for writing-off uncashed checks between 6 to12 months from the issue date.

The Unclaimed Property Holders Liaison Council supports uniformity in owner notification of unclaimed property by first class mail with the concurrent change of increasing the requirement for certified mail notification from $100 to $1,000. The holders of abandoned property will be allowed to recover the certified mail costs as a service charge on the property.

By defining uncashed State checks as abandoned property, they will be included in the Abandoned Property database, which is accessible via the Internet. This will greatly aid in the return of this unclaimed property to the rightful owners.

Increasing the threshold to $5,000 below which the Comptroller can administratively determine that claimants are entitled to the return of abandoned property will adjust for inflationary increases that have occurred since the current threshold was set in 1989, and will decrease the costs rightful owners must bear in recovering their property.

Part W – Increase Motor Vehicle Insurance fees to support enhanced State and local public safety efforts

This bill raises the motor vehicle law enforcement fee from $1 to $5 to provide funding for the State’s public safety efforts, and allow localities to impose an additional fee of up to $5 to fund local public safety efforts.

This bill amends section 9110 of the Insurance Law to increase the motor vehicle law enforcement fee from $1 to $5 and allows counties and New York City to impose an additional fee up to $5 on each insured motor vehicle.

This bill amends the State Finance Law to remove the $9.1 million cap on insurance fees that are deposited into the State Police Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement Fund (MVLEA) to allow additional revenue to fund the State Police’s highway safety and public security efforts. The bill provides that $9.1 million will continue to fund anti-auto theft costs of the State Police.

The State Finance Law is amended to set a cap on funds deposited into the Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Fund (MVTIFA) at $4.7 million annually. Additional revenue in this account would be transferred to MVLEA. The bill establishes that seven percent of the funds appropriated for the MVTIFA may be used for the program’s administration costs.

The bill also makes technical adjustments to the Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Demonstration Program established in the Executive Law. It clarifies that motorcycles be included in the definition of motor vehicles for purposes of assessing the motor vehicle law enforcement fee and allows the New York Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Board to develop its own requirements related to meetings and other affairs.

The bill also extends the New York Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Demonstration Program and related funding provisions.

Insurance Law section 9110 imposes a $1 annual fee on the insurance policy of all registered motor vehicles. This section provides that the first $9.1 million collected annually from passenger motor vehicle fees shall be paid to the MVLEA to fund the State Police’s anti-auto theft efforts. This section further provides that any additional revenue collected from passenger motor vehicle fees and all fee revenue collected from all other motor vehicles be paid to the MVTIFA to aid local anti-auto theft and insurance fraud prevention efforts.

Additional revenue is needed to maintain public safety. This bill establishes a dedicated source of revenue to provide funding for vital functions performed by the State Police, including anti-auto theft, highway safety, and anti-terrorism efforts that benefit all of New York State’s citizens.

Further, by allowing counties to impose an additional fee, this proposal recognizes the need to maintain funding for public safety at a time of fiscal uncertainty for local governments.

Part X – Permanently authorize the Department of State to continue to offer expedited services and receive payments via credit card

This bill amends Chapter 411 of the Laws of 1999 to make permanent the authorization for the Division of Corporations within the Department of State (DOS) to offer additional levels of expedited service to the public, and collect payments via credit card.

Chapter 411 of the Laws of 1999 authorized DOS to offer expedited service for
all documents filed or issued by the Division of Corporations and to receive credit card payments for such services. This chapter of law expires on March 31, 2003.

This bill was proposed as a DOS departmental bill in 2001.

Members of the legal and business community often have a need to quickly file documents such as certificates of incorporation and articles of organization in order to expeditiously complete a business transaction. In 1999, the Executive Law was amended to permit DOS to provide “special handling” services for an additional fee. The response to these additional services has been positive and initial concerns regarding the associated fees have never materialized. This bill allows the Division of Corporations to provide these much needed services to the business and legal communities on a permanent basis.

Part Y – Increase lobbyist registration fees

This bill makes changes to the lobbyist registration fees.

Effective on January 1, 2004, the annual lobbyist registration fee will be increased from $50 to $100. Effective in calendar year 2005, and thereafter, registration will be required on a biennial basis and the accompanying fee will be $200. The proposal includes language to prorate the fee to $100 for lobbyists who first register after January 1 of the second calendar year of a two-year registration period. The proposal also changes record retention and public access requirements.

The annual $50 registration fee was originally imposed in 1983 and has never been increased.

In the long term, biennial registration makes compliance less onerous and time consuming for both the Lobbying Commission and lobbyists, and conforms the filing period to the legislative session cycle.

Part Z – Authorize hearing reporters to limit transcriptions of Board hearings to only inmates denied release

This bill eliminates the statutory requirements that the Parole Board transcribe the minutes of every parole release interview, preliminary revocation hearing and final revocation hearing and require that a hearing be transcribed only when release has been denied.

The Executive Law is amended to provide that the Board of Parole is no longer required to have the minutes of parole release interviews transcribed when those interviews result in decisions to release inmates to community supervision. In addition, this bill waives the requirement that the minutes of a preliminary revocation hearing or final revocation hearing be transcribed and placed within the parolee’s file when the hearing results in a decision to dismiss all of the charged violations of release.

The Executive Law currently requires that the Board of Parole transcribe all release interviews, preliminary hearings and final hearings.

The Board of Parole grants discretionary release to approximately 50 percent of the inmates it interviews. In those instances where an inmate has been granted release, there is no practical reason for generating a transcript of that release interview when there is no basis for an administrative appeal. The same rationale applies to preliminary and final revocation hearings where the charged violations of release have been dismissed and the individual has been returned to supervision.

While this proposal waives the requirement of producing written transcripts for certain categories of hearings, the Board would nevertheless maintain its current practice of having either a State or private stenographer present for each release interview, preliminary and final hearing. Therefore, the minutes of each proceeding will be recorded and maintained for a minimum of 3 years. This will allow for a transcription to occur in those rare instances where one is requested for a Board hearing that resulted in an approved release. A transcript will be automatically produced and placed in the individual file for those proceedings that result in a denial of parole, a finding of probable cause, or a violation of release in an important respect.

Part AA – Reduce the State’s share of health insurance premium contributions for State employees and retired State employees

This bill reduces the State’s share of health insurance premium contributions for State employees and retired State employees.

Effective January 1, 2004, the State’s share of health insurance premiums for employees and current retirees would change from 90 percent to 85 percent for individual coverage and from 75 percent to 70 percent for dependent coverage. Retirees who retired prior to 1983 would continue to receive individual coverage paid in full by the State.

Premium contributions for retirees who retire on or after January 1, 2004 would be established on a sliding scale linked to years of service. The State would pay a minimum premium share of 50 percent for individual coverage and 35 percent for dependent coverage for employees who retire with 10 years of service. The State’s contribution would increase by 1.75 percent of premium for each additional year of service up to a maximum contribution of 85 percent for individual coverage and 70 percent for dependent coverage.

These changes would be subject to collective bargaining for union represented employees.

Reducing the State’s share of health insurance premium contributions is needed to achieve budgetary savings and to bring the State’s contributions more in line with levels paid by other employers. Modifying contributions for future retirees is particularly important to make the significant financial burden of retiree health benefits more affordable. Retiree health coverage currently represents nearly 40 percent of the State’s annual spending for employee health insurance premiums. The State’s coverage is particularly generous in that it provides the same premium coverage for retirees regardless of whether they work for the State for 10 years or 30 years.

Part BB – Provide technical clarification regarding the recovery of salary overpayments

This bill makes technical changes to ensure the appropriate, efficient and fair administration of the State payroll function in situations where a salary overpayment has occurred.

The State Comptroller would no longer be required to recoup overpayments for certain salary supplements (e.g. shift differentials, geographic differentials etc.) made to a State employee as a result of an error by the State. Rather, the State Comptroller would have the authority and discretion to recover such payments when it is practicable and reasonable to do so.

Under current law, the State is not required to recoup salary overpayments made to an employee when such overpayments are the result of an administrative error by the State, unless the employee should have reasonably known about the salary overpayment. However, the State is required to recoup overpayments for certain salary supplements (e.g. shift differentials, geographic differentials etc.) to a State employee even when such overpayments are the result of an administrative error by the State and when the employee may not have realized that he or she was overpaid.

The routine and ongoing process of administering the payroll for more than 200,000 State employees is an extremely complex function. Despite professional standards and state of the art computer assistance, payroll errors can, and do, occur. Currently, the requirements to recover certain types of overpayments differ from the general recovery requirements and thus may lead to inequitable application of the statute. This bill ensures that the statutory authority and requirements to recover salary overpayments that occur as a result of administrative errors are consistent and equitable for both the State and its employees.

Part CC – Authorize deposits and temporary loans for various funds, bond cap changes; debt and other general fiscal management provisions

This bill provides the statutory authorization necessary for the administration of funds/accounts included in the 2003-04 Executive Budget. Specifically, it (1) authorizes temporary loans and the deposit of certain revenues to specific funds/accounts, (2) continues or extends various provisions of Chapter 81 of the Laws of 2002 in relation to capital projects and certain certifications, (3) authorizes the issuance of certificates of participation, and (4) 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 the Budget to carry out certain administrative and programmatic functions.

Section 1 authorizes specific funds and accounts to receive temporary loans for the 2003-04 fiscal year.

Section 2 permanently authorizes the deposit of funds into the School Tax Relief Fund.

Section 3 authorizes reimbursement to the General Fund from the Correctional Facilities Capital Improvement Fund for costs related to capital projects.

Section 4 authorizes a transfer of funds between the State University Collection Fund and the State University Income Fund for the purpose of paying SUNY debt service if insufficient funds are available in the State University Income Fund.

Section 5 amends part K of Chapter 81 of the Laws of 2002 to exempt sections 2 and 8-a from repeal on March 31, 2003 pertaining to SUNY. These sections should sunset June 30, 2003 consistent with SUNY’s fiscal year.

Section 6 amends the State Finance Law to authorize interfund loans within a month.

Section 7 makes a technical amendment to reflect the reclassification of the Debt Reduction Reserve Fund to Debt Service Fund.

Section 8 authorizes appropriation transfers for capital projects funds and requires certification of certain capital spending by the State Comptroller and designated State authorities and agencies.

Sections 9 through 14 authorize the State Comptroller to deposit reimbursements for certain capital spending from new capital appropriations contained in various Chapters of the Laws of 1998 through 2003 into the Capital Projects Fund.

Section 15 authorizes the State Comptroller to establish a process by which monies may be used to make rebates required by Federal Tax Law to the Federal government.

Section 16 extends authorizations in section 29 of part H of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2000 regarding disbursements for hazardous waste site remediation projects.

Sections 17 and 18 provide for the maximum amount of certificates of participation that may be issued and to authorize the issuance of certificates of participation/State Personal Income Tax Revenue Bonds to finance equipment needs essential to the delivery of services by various State agencies.

Section 19 increases the maximum amount of bonds that may be issued by the Urban Development Corporation to finance capital projects related to correctional facilities.

Sections 20 and 21 amend paragraphs (a) of subdivisions 2 and 5, respectively, of section 47-e of the Private Housing Finance Law, as amended by Chapter 81 of the Laws of 2002, to increase the maximum amount of bonds that may be issued by the Housing Finance Agency to finance certain capital projects related to housing.

Sections 22 through 24 make a technical amendment to existing Urban Development Corporation bonding authorizations related to the Elk Street Parking Garage, the Alfred E. Smith Office Building, and the youth facilities.

Section 25 amends 1285-p of the Public Authorities Law, as added by chapter 81 of the Laws of 2002 to increase the maximum amount of bonds that may be issued by the Environmental Facilities Corporation to finance various environmental infrastructure capital projects.

Section 26 amends Chapter 81 of the Laws of 2002 to increase the maximum amount of bonds that may be issued by the Urban Development Corporation to finance capital projects related to homeland security and State facilities.

Section 27 amends section 1680-I of the Public Authorities Law, as added by Chapter 81 of the Laws of 2002, to increase the maximum amount of bonds that may be issued to finance capital projects related to judiciary facilities.

Sections 28 through 31 amend section 1680 of the Public Authorities Law, to increase the maximum amount of bonds that may be issued by the Dormitory Authority to finance various SUNY and CUNY capital projects to be financed under the new SUNY and CUNY Multi-Year Capital Investment Programs.

Section 32 amends the State Finance Law to create the Interest Assessment Surcharge Fund to be utilized for payment of interest due to the Federal government on advances from the Federal unemployment account.

Section 33 amends section 581-d of the Labor Law to authorize the establishment of an assessment on employers to fund the new Interest Assessment Surcharge Fund established in section 32 of this bill.

Section 34 amends section 69-c of the State Finance Law, as amended by a Chapter of the Laws of 2003, to clarify how present value savings shall be calculated under various State-supported bonding caps as they relate to financing structures authorized by Article 5-D of the State Finance Law.

Sections 35 and 36 make certain technical corrections to section 69-d of the State Finance Law to clarify that, if funds are available, authorized issuers may post collateral to secure their obligations under interest rate exchange agreements. In addition, these sections authorize the governing boards of the authorized issuers to delegate to staff matters appropriate to the execution of interest rate exchange agreements.

Sections 37 and 38 make a technical amendment to the Debt Reform Act of 2000. Consistent with the intent of the Act, these amendments clarify that short-term borrowings authorized by the State Constitution are not subject to the provisions of the Act and clarify the provisions which exclude refundings from the Act’s limitations.

Section 39 clarifies the authority of the Environmental Facilities Corporation to issue refunding bonds.

Section 40 makes a technical amendment to the Dormitory Authority statute to correct a reference to section 2926 of the Public Authorities Law, which has been repealed and replaced by Article 5-D of the State Finance Law.

Section 41 authorizes the transfer of monies from the Federal Operating Grants Fund (290) to the Tobacco Control and Insurance Initiatives Pool on or after March 31, 2004.

Section 42 amends section 98-a of the State Finance law to authorize the Comptroller to credit or charge interest to fund/accounts which are authorized to receive temporary loans in consultation with the Director of the Budget.

Section 43 establishes the Harriman State Office Campus Development Account in custody of the State Comptroller to collect all revenues and proceeds associated with the sale and/or lease of buildings at the Harriman State Office Building Campus.

Section 44 amends the Public Authorities Law to ensure that issuers of State-supported bonds can rapidly respond to changing market conditions to take advantage of opportunities to refund high cost State debt by removing the requirement that such refundings be approved by the Public Authorities Control Board.

Section 45 details the severability clause.

The State Finance Law requires statutory authorization for funds/accounts to receive temporary loans from the State Treasury. Similar provisions were enacted to implement the 2002-03 Budget and need to be extended to implement the 2003-04 Budget.

Each year comparable bills are introduced with the Executive Budget to effectuate these provisions.

This bill is necessary to execute a balanced financial plan in accordance with the
2003-04 Executive Budget. Such legislation is enacted annually to authorize loans budgeted in the financial plan but that do not have permanent statutory authorization, as well as to provide for other transactions necessary to maintain a balanced financial plan. The provisions of this bill relating to the performance of necessary administrative and programmatic functions by the Division of the Budget and the Office of General Services are also enacted annually.

Part DD – Provide authorization to securitize the stream of tobacco settlement payments

This bill authorizes the State to securitize its share of annual payments awarded under the 1998 “Master Settlement Agreement” (MSA) between the major tobacco companies and most of the states and other governmental jurisdictions. Securitization of all or part of these payments will permit the State to receive a lump-sum payment(s) and use these funds as part of a multi-year plan to offset the loss of revenues resulting from the September 11th terrorist attack, the nationwide economic slowdown and the continuing downturn on Wall Street.

Effective immediately, this bill creates the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation as a subsidiary of the Municipal Bond Bank Agency. In creating the Corporation and providing for the securitization of tobacco payments, this bill will:

This bill also authorizes the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) to enter into agreements with the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation under which SONYMA could use certain corporate resources to enhance the creditworthiness of the Corporation’s debt.

Payments received under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement are currently deposited in the Tobacco Settlement Fund pursuant to section 92-x of the State Finance Law and are used to fund a variety of health care purposes. Under the bill, the Tobacco Settlement Fund will receive that portion of the Master Settlement payments not required to meet the debt service obligations or other requirements of the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation. SONYMA is currently authorized to finance and insure single and multi-family housing and to insure selected commercial facilities. The Municipal Bond Bank Agency is authorized to undertake various types of financings for local governments, including the securitization of tax liens.

This bill authorizes New York to securitize its share of payments awarded under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with the major tobacco companies. By doing so, this authorization will put in place a tested mechanism for funding projected State budget shortfalls caused by a slower-than-expected national economic recovery, the revenue loss from the September 11th terrorist attack and the continuing financial downturn on Wall Street.

Securitizing New York’s share of the settlement payments also recognizes the time constraints inherent in responsibly addressing more immediate and longer-term shortfalls. While on-going actions to curtail spending in 2002-03 and recommended actions for 2003-04 and subsequent years will produce significant savings, the reality is that State agencies, local governments and others cannot curtail spending sufficiently to offset the projected shortfalls. The recommended securitization program thus gives State agencies and others the time they need to implement near-term efficiencies, while planning for and implementing long-term reforms in how government is organized and delivers services.

Use of certain resources of the State of New York Mortgage Agency to enhance all or part of the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation’s debt will ensure that the cost of this debt is as low as possible and is paid off as fast as possible. The creation of this “credit enhancer” is critical because it will enable the Corporation to:

Finally, the securitization of MSA payments is part of a multi-year plan to restore budget balance. In this regard, this bill provides for the State Director of the Budget, prior to all or any part of the MSA payments being securitized, to describe to the legislative fiscal committees how the planned securitization and other fiscal measures will support a multi-year plan to restore budget balance.

Part EE – Authorize comprehensive mandate relief initiatives for localities

This bill increases local government flexibility and removes long-standing, State-imposed impediments to efficient government operation. Further, this bill provides a framework for ensuring the continued fiscal stability of New York’s local governments, and establishes new financing tools with stringent fiscal protections.

Section 1 requires arbitration panels to consider, above all other factors, the financial ability of a local government to pay an award without increased taxation, or in the case of the State, without increased taxation or contributing to a budget deficit in the current or a future fiscal year.

Sections 2 through 4 amend the prevailing wage requirements of the State Labor Law to allow construction wages paid on State and municipal projects to more closely reflect the true cost of labor in a locality.

Sections 5 through 15 foster cost-effective local governmental cooperation and consolidation by:

Sections 16 through 85 repeal multiple bidding requirements for the State, municipalities, school districts and public authorities (Wicks Law) to allow for more flexible and cost-effective public construction contracting methods.

Sections 86 through 103 bring greater parity to the process under which legal claims against a public entity are resolved by:

Sections 109 through 110 allow municipalities to establish fees for certain police and emergency services.

Sections 111 through 114 authorize local governments – patterned after similar State authority - to delay a partial pension payment (with interest), should the Comptroller make upward revisions in estimated pension liabilities during a current local fiscal year. This proposal also authorizes the issuance of bonds to realize interest rate savings on 5-year installment payments for the cost of the early retirement incentive.

Sections 115 through 123 authorize local governments to take advantage of electronic bidding and purchasing tools, and provide New York City schools with greater procurement flexibility.

Sections 124 through 138 provide a framework for ensuring the fiscal stability of local governments and establish new financing tools with stringent safeguards.

Section 141 sets effective dates including the implementation of changes to binding arbitration and the expanded investment options.

This bill makes changes to the Civil Service, Labor, General Municipal, Education, Retirement and Social Security, Local Finance, State Finance, Public Authorities, Public Officers, Civil Practice Law and Rules, Public Housing, Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding, County, Village, Environmental Conservation, and Highway laws and other unconsolidated laws.

This legislation draws heavily on legislative proposals previously introduced in the Legislature, Governor’s Program bills, and proposals advocated by local government officials and the public.

Similar to the State, the outlook is challenging for municipal officials as they prepare budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. Local governments face significant pressure on real property and sales tax resources, due to:

To meet this fiscal challenge, local governments must intensify efforts to implement reforms and embrace innovative ideas to more effectively and efficiently provide necessary services. By removing long-standing State impediments and providing new flexibility this bill will promote local efforts to reform their operations. Further, it will assist local governments in responding to those recommendations in the State’s 2003-04 Executive Budget that negatively impact their budgets.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS:

Part A – Enable reciprocal purchasing by Corcraft with other states and the Federal government

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget by generating an estimated $500,000 in additional revenue. This bill improves the prospect that Corcraft will complete 2003-04 with a positive fund balance.

Part B – Authorize the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to increase the fee charged for motor vehicle license plates

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive budget because it will generate approximately $21.7 million in new revenue, of which $19.7 million will be deposited into the General Fund to support criminal justice spending, and $2 million will be transferred to Corcraft as reimbursement of the actual cost associated with production of New York State license plates.

Part C – Expand designated acceptable uses of surplus State armories that are transferred to local municipalities to include government purposes

The 2003-04 Executive Budget reflects the recommended closure of 11 armories. As some of the targeted facilities are located within municipalities that have expressed interest in acquiring the property for their own administrative use, this bill facilitates the acquisition process, which is necessary for DMNA to realize General Fund savings and implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget recommendations.

Part D – Increase fees paid by operators of the six nuclear power reactors to fund enhanced State and local emergency preparedness

This revenue increase is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget. The fee increase provides a total of $2.4 million in new revenue. Per statutory formula, half of this revenue, or $1.2 million, is provided to the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) for training and radiological emergency preparedness activities, offsetting costs that would otherwise be supported by the General Fund. The other half of the revenue is divided among specified counties in accordance with the statutory formula (seven counties within a 10-mile radius of a nuclear facility – Westchester, Rockland, Oswego, Wayne, Monroe, Orange and Putnam) to support radiological emergency preparedness activities.

Part E – Increase Justice Court Fund fine amounts

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget since $6.25 million in General Fund revenue will be generated. Additionally, this bill provides increased revenue during the 2003-04 State fiscal year for localities: $5.25 million for the City of New York; and $11.5 million for other cities, towns, and villages. Full annual revenue associated with this bill will be: $12.5 million for the State General Fund; $10.5 million for the City of New York; and $23 million for other cities, towns, and villages. Additionally, various special revenue accounts associated with environmental conservation will receive an undetermined amount of increased revenue.

Part F – Make permanent the provisions for deposit of revenues into the armory rental account

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget. Without it, General Fund appropriations will be inadequate to support armory operations.

Part G – Authorize non-violent inmates with exemplary program participation and disciplinary records, to be released from incarceration under certain conditions

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because it will result in an estimated $19.6 million in savings in prison operating costs.

Part H – Impose various fees relating to sex offender registration

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget as it will generate approximately $800,000 in new revenue.

Part I – Increase the State’s fingerprinting fee to fund criminal justice technology requirements

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because it will provide an additional $9.9 million in revenue to be used to maintain and enhance statewide law enforcement information systems and fingerprint processing technology. The upgrades will result in better information sharing among police agencies and provide for faster and more accurate identification of dangerous criminals.

Part J – Extend the authorization for the New York Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Demonstration Program

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget and to continue the Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Program. If this program is not extended, approximately $4.4 million would no longer be available to fund local initiatives for the prevention and deterrence of auto theft and related insurance fraud.

Part K – Permit a new standard using “aggregate weight” for lab analysis of illegal drug evidence

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because implementation of aggregate weight standards will avoid the need to increase Division of State Police laboratory spending by approximately $1.2 million to process drug evidence within desired timeframes.

Part L – Require Hazardous Material license holders to undergo a criminal history background check

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because this proposal generates additional annual revenue of $2 million and increases public safety.

Part M – Extend various criminal justice programs and fees due to expire

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget by extending authorization for numerous criminal justice initiatives that reduce overall criminal justice system costs.

Part N – Increase hourly rates for court-appointed counsel; increase a variety of Vehicle and Traffic surcharges, Civil Court and other fees

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because of the increased annual revenue this bill will generate: $64.5 million for the Indigent Defense Legal Services Fund to support increases in hourly rates paid to assigned counsel; $55.9 million to the General Fund; $22.9 million to support the Court Facilities Incentive Aid Fund and $32 million to the “Big Six” cities. Due to the anticipated lag needed to fully implement the fees and surcharges, revenue for 2003-04 is projected to be approximately 50 percent of the full annual amounts.

Part O – Merge the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) into a new Public and Private Employment Relations Board (PPERB)

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which includes savings of $839,000 reflecting personnel efficiencies generated by this merger.

Part P – Abolish the State Liquor Authority; transfer its functions to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC); and authorize ABC to file default judgments for unpaid penalties

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, because abolishing the SLA produces savings of $171,000 and enhanced penalty collections will generate an additional $500,000 in General Fund revenue.

Part Q – Increase various mandatory surcharges on Penal Law and Vehicle and Traffic Law offenses

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, because the projected revenue increase of $8 million in 2003-04 and $16 million annually thereafter will ameliorate the need for General Fund support of the Criminal Justice Improvement Account.

Part R – Permit grand jury testimony by police officers to be provided by affidavit rather than requiring personal appearance

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because it will permit the Division of State Police to achieve necessary reductions in overtime costs. Other State and local law enforcement agencies will also benefit.

Part S – Authorize the Division of Parole to grant merit termination of sentence for non-violent parolees for specific classes of felonies

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget by achieving an annual cost savings of $1.6 million. The level of Parole’s operational needs is primarily determined by the number of parolees that are under supervision in the community. This bill will result in the merit termination of sentence of 3,100 releasees that do not have a history of violence and have not been convicted of any new offense or engaged in any behavior that is deemed a significant violation of the conditions governing their release.

Part T – Authorize the Workers’ Compensation Board to make certain payments on behalf of insolvent self-insured private employers, outside of State appropriated funds

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because it will reduce the 2003-04 appropriation need for the Board’s Special Revenue-Other Account by $3.8 million.

Part U – Increase several real estate and security broker related fees in the Department of Law

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because it generates an additional $3 million in revenue for transfer into the State’s General Fund.

Part V – Conform the negotiable period for State issued checks to banking industry standards

By shortening the negotiable period of State issued checks, this bill generates an additional $38 million in one-time revenues to support the 2003-04 Financial Plan. In addition, it is anticipated that the administrative changes included in this bill will streamline some workflow practices, generating additional administrative economies.

Part W – Increase Motor Vehicle Insurance fees to support enhanced State and local public safety efforts

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because the $52 million in additional annual revenue generated will support State Police law enforcement and public safety programs. This bill also allows localities to generate up to an additional $65 million to support law enforcement activities.

Part X – Permanently authorize the Department of State to continue to offer expedited services and receive payments via credit card

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because the revenue generated by the fees associated with expedited service is deposited in the General Fund. Extending the authorization for enhanced services and associated fees will preserve $2 million in revenue for the Financial Plan.

Part Y – Increase lobbyist registration fees

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget. The fee increase will augment General Fund receipts by $200,000.

Part Z – Authorize hearing reporters to limit transcriptions of Board hearings to only inmates denied release

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget by achieving annual cost savings of $750,000.

Part AA – Reduce the State’s share of health insurance premium contributions for State employees and retired State employees

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes $27.3 million in savings to the State from this proposal. This savings amount increases to $114 million in 2004-05.

Part BB – Provide technical clarification regarding the recovery of salary overpayments

This bill, which results in administrative efficiencies in the State payroll function, is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget.

Part CC – Authorize deposits and temporary loans for various funds, bond cap changes; debt and other general fiscal management provisions

This bill is necessary to execute a balanced financial plan in accordance with the 2003-04 Executive Budget. Such legislation is enacted annually to authorize loans budgeted in the financial plan but that do not have permanent statutory authorization, as well as to provide for other transactions necessary to maintain a balanced financial plan. This bill is also necessary to reimburse approximately $1.7 billion in projected capital projects funds spending with the proceeds of bonds sold by public authorities, 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.

Part DD – Provide authorization to securitize the stream of tobacco settlement payments

Enactment of this bill is required to implement a securitization program to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget and support a multi-year plan for matching recurring revenues and expenses. It is expected that securitization of the State’s entire share of payments under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement could result in payments of about $4.2 billion to the State.

Part EE – Authorize comprehensive mandate relief initiatives for localities

This bill supports initiatives in the 2003-04 Executive Budget which provide fiscal relief for local governments by promoting structural and operating reforms, reducing costs and, in some cases, authorizing new revenues.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Part A – Enable reciprocal purchasing by Corcraft with other states and the Federal government

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part B – Authorize the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to increase the fee charged for motor vehicle license plates

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part C – Expand designated acceptable uses of surplus State armories that are transferred to local municipalities to include government purposes

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part D – Increase fees paid by operators of the six nuclear power reactors to fund enhanced State and local emergency preparedness

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part E – Increase Justice Court Fund fine amounts

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part F – Make permanent the provisions for deposit of revenues into the armory rental account

This bill will take effect immediately and be deemed to have been in full
force and effect on and after April 1, 2003.

Part G – Authorize non-violent inmates with exemplary program participation and disciplinary records, to be released from incarceration under certain conditions

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part H – Impose various fees relating to sex offender registration

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part I – Increase the State’s fingerprinting fee to fund criminal justice technology requirements

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part J – Extend the authorization for the New York Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Demonstration Program

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part K – Permit a new standard using “aggregate weight” for lab analysis of illegal drug evidence

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part L – Require Hazardous Material license holders to undergo a criminal history background check

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part M – Extend various criminal justice programs and fees due to expire

This bill will take effect immediately and be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after March 31, 2003.

Part N – Increase hourly rates for court-appointed counsel; increase a variety of Vehicle and Traffic surcharges, Civil Court and other fees

The bill will take effect 180 days after it becomes law; however, assigned counsel rate increases will take effect January 1, 2004. Counties may, by local law, elect to have the rate increases effective prior to January 1.

Part O – Merge the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) into a new Public and Private Employment Relations Board (PPERB)

This bill will take effect 90 days after enactment and apply to all actions and proceedings pending on the effective date.

Part P – Abolish the State Liquor Authority; transfer its functions to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC); and authorize ABC to file default judgments for unpaid penalties

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part Q – Increase various mandatory surcharges on Penal Law and Vehicle and Traffic Law offenses

This bill will take effect 180 days after it is enacted.

Part R – Permit grand jury testimony by police officers to be provided by affidavit rather than requiring personal appearance

The bill will take effect November 1, 2003.

Part S – Authorize the Division of Parole to grant merit termination of sentence for non-violent parolees for specific classes of felonies

This bill will take effect immediately and be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after April 1, 2003.

Part T – Authorize the Workers’ Compensation Board to make certain payments on behalf of insolvent self-insured private employers, outside of State appropriated funds

This bill will take effect immediately and be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after April 1, 2003.

Part U – Increase several real estate and security broker related fees in the Department of Law

This bill will take effect on the ninetieth day after it becomes law.

Part V – Conform the negotiable period for State issued checks to banking industry standards

This bill will take effect immediately with the exception of sections 3 and 7 which will take effect on April 1, 2003.

Part W – Increase Motor Vehicle Insurance fees to support enhanced State and local public safety efforts

This bill will take effect the sixtieth day after enactment.

Part X – Permanently authorize the Department of State to continue to offer expedited services and receive payments via credit card

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part Y – Increase lobbyist registration fees

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part Z – Authorize hearing reporters to limit transcriptions of Board hearings to only inmates denied release

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part AA – Reduce the State’s share of health insurance premium contributions for State employees and retired State employees

This bill will take effect January 1, 2004.

Part BB – Provide technical clarification regarding the recovery of salary overpayments

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part CC – Authorize deposits and temporary loans for various funds, bond cap changes; debt and other general fiscal management provisions.

This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.

Part DD – Provide authorization to securitize the stream of tobacco settlement payments

This bill will take effect immediately.

Part EE – Authorize comprehensive mandate relief initiatives for localities

Most provisions in this bill will take effect immediately; however, the State Comptroller is permitted 120 days to implement the expansion of investment options, and jurisdiction will move to the Court of Claims 180 days after enactment. Also, the binding arbitration change will not impact panels currently in place.

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