2006-07 NEW YORK STATE EXECUTIVE BUDGET
EDUCATION, LABOR AND FAMILY ASSISTANCE ARTICLE VII LEGISLATION
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT

CONTENTS

Contents
PART DESCRIPTION STARTING PAGE NUMBER FOR:
SUMMARY, HISTORY & STATEMENT IN SUPPORT BUDGET IMPLICATION EFFECTIVE DATE
A Authorize SUNY trustees to transfer SUNY hospital operations to not-for-profit corporations. 7 (Part A) 29 (Part A) 32 (Part A)
B Modify the composition of the SUNY and CUNY Boards of Trustees. 8 (Part B) 29 (Part B) 33 (Part B)
C Establish a tuition policy at SUNY and CUNY, including indexing and differential tuition. 8 (Part C) 29 (Part C) 33 (Part C)
D Authorize SUNY/ CUNY and OGS to develop a plan for the use of surplus properties to raise additional revenues. 10 (Part D) 29 (Part D) 33 (Part D)
E Establish a new Partnership to Accelerate Completion Time (Part PACT) Program. 10 (Part E) 30 (Part E) 33 (Part E)
F Streamline implementation of the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program. 11 (Part F) 30 (Part F) 33 (Part F)
G Establish a Tuition Reimbursement Program for math and science teachers. 12 (Part G) 30 (Part G) 33 (Part G)
H Reform the State’s education finance system. 12 (Part H) 30 (Part H) 33 (Part H)
I Realign fiscal responsibility for tenured teachers’ disciplinary hearings. 15 (Part I) 30 (Part I) 33 (Part I)
J Create the STAR Plus Program. 15 (Part J) 30 (Part J) 33 (Part J)
K Establish a new Cultural Education Trust. 16 (Part K) 30 (Part K) 33 (Part K)
L Modify the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to reform eligibility criteria. 17 (Part L) 31 (Part L) 34 (Part L)
M Provide cost of living adjustments to the enhanced STAR exemption for seniors. 19 (Part M) 31 (Part M) 34 (Part M)
N Transfer radiological health services from Labor to Health. 19 (Part N) 31 (Part N) 34 (Part N)
O Conform the initial and renewal fees for asbestos handling licenses. 20 (Part O) 31 (Part O) 34 (Part O)
P Increase the fines for child care violations and eliminate a redundant approval process. 21 (Part P) 31 (Part P) 34 (Part P)
Q Authorize withholding of a welfare grant for failure to fulfill an employment obligation. 22 (Part Q) 31 (Part Q) 34 (Part Q)
R Realign earnings limits to reflect the length of time an individual has been on welfare. 23 (Part R) 31 (Part R) 34 (Part R)
S Reduce the personal needs allowance for certain Safety Net recipients. 24 (Part S) 32 (Part S) 34 (Part S)
T Recognize the presence of SSI recipients when determining the grant level of a public assistance household. 24 (Part T) 32 (Part T) 34 (Part T)
U Create a “Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers” initiative. 25 (Part U) 32 (Part U) 35 (Part U)
V Establish penalties for local districts’ non-compliance with minimum work requirements. 26 (Part V) 32 (Part V) 35 (Part V)
W Authorize an initiative to seek and implement a Medicaid waiver for foster children. 27 (Part W) 32 (Part W) 35 (Part W)

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT

A BUDGET BILL submitted by the Governor in

Accordance with Article VII of the Constitution

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the powers of the boards of trustees of the state university of New York to establish and contract with not-for-profit corporations (Part A); to amend the education law, in relation to the composition of the boards of trustees of the state university of New York and the city university of New York (Part B); to amend the education law, in relation to the powers of the boards of trustees of the state university of New York and the city university of New York to establish tuition rates (Part C); to direct the state university of New York, the city university of New York, and the office of general services to develop a surplus property and facility relocation plan (Part D); to amend the education law, in relation to creating the Partnership to Accelerate Completion Time (Part E); to amend chapter 57 of the laws of 2005 amending the labor law and other laws relating to implementing the state fiscal plan for the 2005-2006 state fiscal year, in relation to current restrictions on the execution of private contracts for the higher education facilities capital matching grants program (Part F); to amend the education law, in relation to creating the New York state math and science teaching incentive program (Part G); to amend the education law, in relation to financing of capital projects, district elections, qualifications of school officers, records to be kept by school districts, and the calculation and payment of state aid to school districts and boards of cooperative educational services; to amend the general municipal law, in relation to code of ethics and specifications for certain public works; to amend the public authorities law, in relation to entering into agreements with school districts and charter schools; to amend the real property tax law, in relation to special equalization rates for certain school districts; to amend chapter 756 of the laws of 1992 relating to funding a program for workforce education conducted by the consortium for worker education in New York city, in relation to reimbursement for certain programs; to amend chapter 169 of the laws of 1994 relating to certain provisions related to the 1994-95 state operations, aid to localities, capital projects and debt service budgets, in relation to certain expiration and repeal dates contained therein; to amend chapter 82 of the laws of 1995, amending the education law and certain other laws relating to state aid to school districts and the appropriation of funds for the support of government, in relation to the effectiveness thereof; to amend chapter 472 of the laws of 1998, amending the education law relating to the lease of school buses by school districts, in relation to the effectiveness thereof; to repeal certain provisions of the education law relating to the letting of construction contracts and special meetings in common school districts; to repeal certain provisions of the public authorities law relating to use of outside design, drafting or inspection services; to repeal section 11 of chapter 795 of the laws of 1967, amending the education law, the public authorities law and the real property tax law relating to authorizing boards of cooperative educational services to own and construct buildings, relating to specification for certain work; to repeal subdivision 11 of section 94 of part C of chapter 57 of the laws of 2004 amending the labor law, the general business law and various other laws relating to implementation of the state fiscal plan for the 2004-2005 state fiscal year and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof (Part H); to amend the state finance law, in relation to establishing a tenured teacher hearing account; and to amend the education law, in relation to administration of disciplinary hearings of tenured teachers (Part I); to amend the tax law, the real property tax law and the education law, in relation to providing for the STAR Plus rebate program (Part J); to amend the arts and cultural affairs law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing the New York state cultural education trust and providing for the powers and duties thereof (Part K); to amend the education law, in relation to the eligibility requirements for the tuition assistance program (Part L); to amend the real property tax law, in relation to providing for a cost of living adjustment for enhanced STAR exemption for eligible senior citizens (Part M); to amend the general business law, in relation to the transfer of authority over radioactive materials and radiation equipment from the department of labor to the department of health (Part N); to amend the labor law, in relation to worker protection and labor standards fees (Part O);to amend the social services law, the business corporation law, the not-for-profit corporation law and the state finance law, in relation to child day care licensing, registration and enforcement; to repeal subdivision 2 of section 460-a of the social services law, relating to approval of child day care certificates of incorporation; to repeal paragraph (d) of section 201 of the business corporation law, relating to approval of child day care certificates of incorporation; and to repeal section 405 of the business corporation law, in relation to approval of certificate of incorporation (Part P); to amend the social services law, in relation to penalties imposed for noncompliance with public assistance work requirements (Part Q); to amend the social services law, in relation to reducing the earned income disregard percentage for public assistance recipients; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto (Part R); to amend the social services law, in relation to the personal needs allowance of recipients of safety net assistance residing in family care and residential care facilities (Part S); to amend the social services law, in relation to providing that certain grants to needy persons shall be pro-rated where a household member receives SSI and is classified by SSA as living alone (Part T); to amend the tax law, in relation to providing an enhanced earned income tax credit under the personal income tax to certain non-custodial parents; to amend the social services law, in relation to creating a pilot program for the unemployed or underemployed non-custodial parent; and to amend the family court act, in relation to empowering the court to require underemployed or unemployed custodial parents participation in work activities (Part U); to amend the social services law, in relation to holding districts responsible for achieving a fifty percent work participation rate for families and single adults receiving public assistance; and to repeal subdivision 17 of section 153 of the social services law relating to reduction of a social services district’s state reimbursement for administration of certain programs due to its failure to meet certain participation rates for work requirements (Part V); and to amend the social services law, in relation to establishing a medicaid waiver for child welfare (Part W)

PURPOSE:

This bill contains provisions needed to implement the Education, Labor and Family Assistance portions of the 2006-07 Executive Budget.

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

Part A – Authorize SUNY trustees to transfer SUNY hospital operations to not-for-profit corporations.

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

Effective April 1, 2006, this bill:

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

Similar Executive Budget legislation was proposed in the past.

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

Part B – Modify the composition of the SUNY and CUNY Boards of Trustees.

To modify the composition of the Boards of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) by adding a distinguished faculty member.

This bill authorizes the Governor to appoint a distinguished faculty member as a voting member of the Boards of Trustees at SUNY and CUNY. This faculty member would be selected from a list of five distinguished faculty members recommended by the Chancellors of the two University systems, and would serve a single five-year term.

This is a new bill. As such, there is no legislative history or existing law.

Since the “university community” overseen by the Boards of Trustees at SUNY and CUNY includes both faculty and students, it is appropriate to include faculty representation on the SUNY/CUNY Boards of Trustees to complement the student representation on the SUNY/CUNY Boards of Trustees currently provided in statute. It is also appropriate that the distinguished faculty representative be provided voting privileges.

Part C – Establish a tuition policy at SUNY and CUNY, including indexing and differential tuition.

This bill amends the Education Law to provide the Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) with increased flexibility in establishing tuition rates.

This bill amends §355 (SUNY) and §6206 (CUNY) of the Education Law to provide the respective Boards of Trustees increased flexibility in establishing tuition rates. Specific provisions would:

The Education Law currently mandates that all students enrolled in programs leading to like degrees at SUNY’s State-operated institutions and CUNY’s senior colleges be charged a uniform rate of tuition, except for differential rates based on State residency. In addition, differential tuition may be charged at SUNY colleges of agriculture and technology for associate degree programs, provided such tuition rates do not exceed tuition charged for like programs at other SUNY institutions. Existing law further prohibits the Trustees from adopting changes to tuition rates prior to enactment of the annual State budget.

Similar legislation was advanced in 2005-06. Legislation providing authorization to establish differential tuition rates for graduate and professional degree programs was advanced in 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04.

Enactment of this bill would provide both Universities with the ability to generate revenues in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of the campuses and that provides greater fiscal stability for the Universities. In addition, the four-year tuition guarantee for SUNY students is consistent with Executive initiatives that seek to encourage timely degree completion by students. Finally, authorizing the SUNY and CUNY Trustees to adopt tuition increases prior to enactment of the State budget provides further stability to the Universities in their ability to implement the annual tuition increases and manage their resources.

Part D – Authorize SUNY/ CUNY and OGS to develop a plan for the use of surplus properties to raise additional revenues.

Directs the Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY), in consultation with the Office of General Services (OGS), to develop a plan to raise additional revenues through the sale of surplus properties and the relocation of programs currently occupying highly marketable or valuable real estate.

This bill:

There is no existing law or prior legislative history.

The sale of surplus properties and the relocation of programs occupying valuable real estate will provide both SUNY and CUNY with the means to generate additional revenue to support the enhancement of university programs.

Part E – Establish a new Partnership to Accelerate Completion Time (PACT) Program.

To promote timely and successful college graduation, this bill creates the Partnership to Accelerate Completion Time (PACT).

Beginning in the 2006-07 academic year, this bill:

A similar proposal was advanced as part of the 2005-06 Executive Budget.

Delayed completion of a college degree results in students remaining in college longer than necessary, thereby producing increased costs for families, institutions and State taxpayers. In addition, financially needy students who fail to obtain their bachelor’s degree in four years exhaust their TAP eligibility, thereby creating an additional financial hardship for such students and their families. This bill creates a program that will promote timely and successful college graduation.

Part F – Streamline implementation of the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program.

This bill streamlines implementation of the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program by eliminating current restrictions on the execution of private contracts.

Current law pertaining to the Higher Education Facilities Capital Matching Grants program requires the Attorney General (AG) to approve both the “form” and the “manner of execution” of contracts entered into by private colleges. This means that the AG must: (1) ensure that the contracts comply with State contracting requirements (i.e., the “form” of the contracts) and (2) ensure that the signatures of the contracting parties have been validated by a notary public (i.e., the “manner of execution” of the contracts).

Current law also requires colleges with non-State contracts to voluntarily comply with portions of the State Finance Law that only apply to State contracts for public work as a condition to receiving a capital matching grant. For example, these requirements include specific provisions relating to the assignment by a contractor of its contract, method for contractors to file claims with the State Comptroller and security bonds for municipal projects. While these requirements are appropriate for “public work,” they are not appropriate for contracts that are executed between private educational entities and private vendors.

The role of the Attorney General under this amendment would insure that the statutory requirements of the program are included in the contracts executed between the private educational institutions and private contractors while leaving the technicalities unrelated to the requirements of the law to the contracting parties. Removing the requirements of Article 9 of the State Finance Law from this program would avoid unnecessary confusion when private educational institutions execute contracts.

These chapter amendments are strongly supported by private colleges as a means of reducing the time from award notification to contract approval since they would appropriately streamline the review process currently required by law.

Part G – Establish a Tuition Reimbursement Program for math and science teachers.

To increase the number of math and science teachers in New York State middle and high schools by establishing the New York State Math and Science Teaching Initiative to provide tuition reimbursement for college students who commit to teach math and science in middle or high schools located within the State.

Beginning in the 2006-07 academic year, this bill:

This is a new proposal.

To maintain the State’s competitive edge and increase the current number of science, math and engineering graduates, it is essential to maintain and upgrade the quality of math and science teaching in our middle and high schools. The NYS Math and Science Teaching Initiative will provide a financial incentive to increase the number of students seeking to become math and science teachers.

Part H – Reform the State’s education finance system.

This bill contains various provisions necessary for implementation of the education portion of the 2006-07 Executive Budget. This bill amends existing law to: advance reforms to education finance through the codification of Flex Aid; target building aid reimbursement more effectively; expand the availability of charter schools by increasing the limit on the number of such schools and by providing charter schools with assistance for school facilities; refocus boards of cooperative educational services on the provision of cost-effective educational services; and improve accountability through strengthening code of ethics requirements and school business official qualifications.

Flex Aid: This bill amends Education Law to permanently establish Flex Aid, provides targeted increases beginning in the 2007-08 school year for those with significantly improved performance, and creates a 2 percent incentive award for school districts adopting a spending cap.

Spending Caps and Budget Votes: The bill amends Education Law to establish the Reform the School Voting Process program by expanding access to school budget votes and improving oversight in school district elections and budget votes. The bill also eliminates budget revotes, requires capital bond votes to be taken on the same day as the single state budget vote and improves the financial information provided to taxpayers.

Charter Schools: This bill expands the charter school cap to 250, and clarifies that charter schools terminated, revoked, or not renewed or extended, as well as those authorized by the Chancellor of the New York City schools, do not count against the statutory limit on the creation of such schools — as is currently the case for conversion schools. In addition, it would allow the SUNY Board of Trustees to designate not-for-profit organizations as chartering entities. Also, charter schools would be eligible for building aid and would be authorized to access the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) financing and construction management services for school construction.

School Facilities/Building Aid: This bill amends Education Law to modify the basis for calculating allowable costs for building projects approved by the Commissioner of Education. It also encourages cost efficiency by providing school districts with an exemption from the Wicks law requirements that mandate the use of multiple contractors for school construction projects and providing school districts with access to a State clearinghouse for efficient and effective school construction designs. Provisions of this bill would also streamline existing procurement processes to facilitate cost efficient school construction through the New York City School Construction Authority. It would also make permanent the payment reforms for new projects previously enacted, as well as align the calculation of building aid payments for BOCES projects and New York City to payments for school construction projects elsewhere in the State.

Section 3602(6) of the Education Law provides for the payment of building aid to school districts for capital costs of school facilities. Section 101 of the General Municipal Law, sections 407-a, 458 and 482 of the Education Law pertain to the bidding of contracts for public construction projects. Sections 1734 and 1740 of the Public Authorities Law pertain to the requirements for bidding contracts for New York City school construction projects.

The creation of a simplified building aid formula that includes reasonable and realistic allowances for construction costs and student based needs will provide school districts with an appropriate level of funding to construct necessary facilities. Similarly, other changes will promote cost-efficient school construction and provide reimbursement of certain legitimate school construction costs that fall outside cost allowances.

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

BOCES: The purchase of services from BOCES will no longer be eligible for aid unless they are cost effective. In addition, those services eligible for BOCES aid will be compared to school district costs and the State contract price for the same services and commodities to ensure cost efficiencies, and BOCES aid will be eliminated for administrative costs associated with cooperative purchasing agreements.

Other Miscellaneous Provisions: Other provisions of this bill make various changes to Education Law, to miscellaneous school aid and education programs. Additionally, other changes include:

Part I – Realign fiscal responsibility for tenured teachers’ disciplinary hearings.

To authorize the Commissioner of Education to establish a chargeback whereby individual school districts will be responsible for funding the costs of disciplinary hearings involving tenured teachers.

Section 3020-A of Education Law establishes procedures for the conduct of disciplinary hearings for tenured teachers and requires that the State Education Department (SED) coordinate the administration of such hearings and pay for associated costs. This bill authorizes SED to recover the actual cost of such hearings from the school districts, boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) and county vocational education and extension boards (CVEEBs) that initiate such hearings. A Tenured Teacher Hearing Account is established within the Miscellaneous Special Revenue fund for this purpose.

Similar proposals, over the past several years, have been rejected by the Legislature.

By aligning the fiscal responsibility for hearing costs with the local district that initiates such hearing, this bill is likely to generate efficiencies including a reduction in the cost of hearing officers and a compression in the duration of hearings. Continued SED oversight ensures fairness and consistency in the administration of this program.

Part J – Create the STAR Plus Program.

To establish a new STAR Plus rebate program providing school tax relief in addition to the existing STAR program.

The bill adds a new section 178 to the Tax Law to establish a new STAR Plus rebate for property owners that receive the school tax relief (STAR) exemption. Property owners who have applied for and received a STAR exemption and who own that same parcel on August 15th of each year shall receive a rebate check in the amount of $400 provided that the school district in which they reside complies with the school spending cap. Rebates will not be issued to property owners in any city having a population of 1 million or more.

The bill adds a new subdivision 14 to section 425 of the Real Property Tax Law to require the Office of Real Property Services to provide the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance with a report by August 15th of each year indicating those parcels which have been granted a STAR exemption. The Office of Real Property Services will generate the report using information provided by local assessors each year from their final assessment rolls and it will be the responsibility of the assessors to ensure that the names and addresses of the property owners are accurately recorded on the rolls.

The bill adds a new subdivision 7 to section 2022 of the Education Law to require school districts to report to the Commissioner of Education whether or not they are in compliance with the school spending cap. The Commissioner would then report that information to the Office of Real Property Services and the Department of Taxation and Finance. The school spending cap would be defined as: school districts’ total annual spending growth may not be more than 4 percent, or 120 percent of the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the previous year, whichever is less. Spending increases attributable to enrollment growth, voter-approved capital projects, court orders, and certain other purposes would be excluded from the computation of the spending limit.

The STAR program was enacted by Chapter 389 of the Laws of 1997 to provide school tax relief to homeowners. However, recent experience has shown that the benefits of STAR are being eroded by continuing increases in school taxes driven by the growth in school district spending. This bill would provide an incentive for school districts to restrain spending.

Part K – Establish a new Cultural Education Trust.

This bill establishes the New York State Cultural Education Trust within the State Education Department (SED).

This bill creates the New York State Cultural Education Trust for the advancement and promotion of the public missions of the State Museum, Library and Archives. The bill provides for:

The Education Law assigns to SED the responsibility to administer the State Museum

(§§ 232, 233-a, 234 –235-b) and the State Library (§§ 232 and 245 – 252). The Arts and Cultural Affairs Law assigns to SED the responsibility to administer the State Archives (§ 57.05).

By establishing the New York Cultural Education Trust, this bill would:

Part L – Modify the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to reform eligibility criteria.

To modify the award parameters for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to strengthen eligibility criteria, and thereby ensure State funds are invested wisely.

This bill restructures the TAP program to:

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

A proposal to redefine full-time study as 15 credits was advanced in 1999-00. Proposals requiring full-time attendance at the time of TAP certification, eliminating TAP eligibility for students in default on student loans regardless of the loan guarantor and strengthening academic criteria were advanced in 2005-06. The proposal to require institutions to pre-finance TAP awards for first-time TAP recipients in 2006-07 who are admitted without having a high school diploma and the proposal to strengthen eligibility for accelerated study are both new proposals.

The bill’s provisions would achieve the following objectives:

Part M – Provide cost of living adjustments to the enhanced STAR exemption for seniors.

To preserve the value of school tax relief for senior citizens by making cost of living adjustments (COLA) to the enhanced STAR exemption.

For the school year 2006-07, the property tax exemption under the enhanced STAR program is increased by 13.6 percent to reflect changes in the cost of living since the full implementation of STAR in 2001-02. This bill also provides for annual COLA for this exemption in future years to reflect changes in the consumer price index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U. S. Department of Labor.

A 2005-06 Article VII bill providing for a COLA to the STAR benefits of homeowners residing in school districts that comply with proposed caps in spending growth did not pass the Legislature.

The STAR program was enacted by Chapter 389 of the Laws of 1997 to provide school tax relief to homeowners, and the program was fully implemented in 2001-02. However, recent experience has shown that the benefits of STAR are being eroded by increases in school tax levies driven by the growth in home values. By raising the enhanced STAR exemption to capture changes in cost of living from 2002-03 to 2006-07, and by annually indexing it in future years, this bill protects enhanced STAR from further erosion, and ensures stability in the State-sponsored tax relief for income-eligible senior citizens.

Part N – Transfer radiological health services from Labor to Health.

This bill improves and enhances the administration of radiation protection programs in New York State by transferring the authority of the Department of Labor (DOL) to license and regulate radioactive material and radiation equipment used for commercial or industrial purposes to the Department of Health (DOH).

Effective July 1, 2006, the bill:

In New York State, DOH and DOL share responsibility for radiation protection. The enforcement of regulations by these separate entities has resulted in duplicative efforts and potential contradiction of each other’s requirements. As a result, public meetings were held to enable businesses, the regulating agencies and the public to comment on the problems and propose possible solutions.

Findings from the meetings indicate that statutory mandates of the programs are almost identical. The two agencies use the same basic licensing criteria and guidance, have similar turnaround times, and both agencies’ programs utilize staff with the same educational background, technical expertise and core training. The agencies differ primarily in their jurisdictions. Merging New York’s radiation protection programs into a single agency would provide a consistent and economical system for the administration and application of radiation protection.

Lasers are not transferred under this proposal because the issuance of the certificate of competence and inspections are closely aligned with other functions of DOL. Mobile lasers (levelers) have traditionally been used by the construction industry, which is overseen and regulated by DOL. In addition, lasers used for entertainment purposes are used in locations that the Department already inspects as places of public assembly.

Part O – Conform the initial and renewal fees for asbestos handling licenses.

This bill increases the asbestos handling license renewal fee from $300 to $500 and will generate $185,000 in additional revenue needed to maintain Department of Labor worker protection and labor standards programs at current levels.

Section 1 amends subdivision three of section 903 of the Labor Law to increase the asbestos handling license renewal fee from $300 to $500 which is consistent with current asbestos license application fees set forth in section 903 of Labor Law.

Section 2 amends subdivision five of section 903 of the Labor Law to revise Asbestos Handling Certificate Categories by adding a new Project Monitor category and renaming various other categories consistent with titles contained in regulation.

This proposal was included as part of the 2005-2006 Executive Budget but it was not enacted. This fee has not been increased since 1990.

Part P – Increase the fines for child care violations and eliminate a redundant approval process.

This bill helps deter child day care providers from violating child day care regulations; and repeals the statutory requirement for the Office of Children and Family Services’ (OCFS) approval of certificates of incorporation of child day care centers.

This bill discourages child care providers from violating regulations or operating a day care program without a license or registration with OCFS by:

Currently, OCFS has to approve a day care provider’s certificate of incorporation before it is granted officially by the Department of State. This process is both cumbersome and redundant. This bill repeals OCFS’ statutory requirement to approve the certificate of incorporation. This bill also streamlines the incorporation process by:

This proposal continues the efforts begun by the Governor’s Quality Child Care and Protection Act of 2000 to improve child day care safety in New York State. It requires day care providers to meet high standards by closing certain violation loopholes and by increasing consequences for violations. It also broadens the language regarding the use of funds collected by the increased fines. Concurrently, this bill recognizes that OCFS has sufficient oversight of licensing child day care centers and thus eliminates redundant requirements of corporate approvals.

Part Q – Authorize withholding of a welfare grant for failure to fulfill an employment obligation.

This bill encourages greater work participation rates by public assistance recipients by withholding the entire welfare grant of a household where the head of the household fails to comply with work requirements.

Section 342 of the Social Services Law currently establishes authority for pro-rata durational sanctions for applicants and recipients of public assistance who fail to comply (without good cause) with work requirements. As a result, if the head of a four-person household does not comply with work requirements, the household still receives three-quarters of the amount of the welfare grant.

This bill:

Implementation of a full family sanction policy will remove the current disincentive to work that allows recipients to receive a reduced benefit regardless of the duration of their non compliance. In addition, encouraging individuals to participate in work programs would increase the likelihood of the family becoming self-sufficient.

This proposal will also help the State meet Federal work participation rate requirements which are expected to be increased from the current 50 percent to 70 percent within a five-year time period. Currently, both houses of Congress have proposed welfare reauthorization bills with these increased rate requirements.

Finally, a full family sanction policy will complement the State’s proposal to require local social service districts to meet a fifty percent work participation rate and would assist districts in meeting that rate.

This proposal is similar to an Article VII provision introduced in 2005 that was not enacted.

Part R – Realign earnings limits to reflect the length of time an individual has been on welfare.

This bill rewards work by welfare recipients but discourages long-term reliance on public assistance by reducing the amount of a family’s earned income that may be ignored during the determination of welfare benefit eligibility when such family has been on assistance for more than five years. Those families that have been on assistance for less than five years would have the amount of income the State will ignore increased to 50 percent from the current 45 percent.

Section 131-a of the Social Services Law requires the first $90 of a family’s earned income to be disregarded for the purpose of determining welfare benefit eligibility. The remainder of the family’s earned income is disregarded at a percentage that is recalculated each June to reflect changes in poverty and welfare benefit levels. Currently, the applicable percentage on the “remaining income” is 45 percent of a family’s earnings.

This bill would retain the $90 monthly disregard, but would:

By adjusting the EID applicable percentage up from 45 percent to 50 percent, this proposal would increase the benefits of low-income working families who have been on assistance for less than five years. For instance, the average working family on public assistance currently earns approximately $8,000 per year. Of this amount, $4,194 (or 52 percent) is ignored during the benefit determination process. With this proposal, $4,540 (or 57 percent) of this same family’s income would be ignored. With less of their earned income being counted towards assistance, this family would be able to qualify for more cash benefit.

Conversely, this proposal would decrease the benefits of low-income working families who have been on assistance for more than five years by adjusting their EID applicable percentage down from 45 percent to 25 percent. Therefore, a family on assistance for more than five years, earning approximately $8,000 per year, would have their total disregard reduced from $4,194 to $2,810 (35 percent of income). With more of their earned income being counted towards assistance, this family would qualify for less cash benefit.

By reducing the EID based on length of stay on public assistance, this bill underscores the important message that welfare is intended to provide only temporary assistance and recipients are to move to self-sufficiency as soon as possible.

This proposal is similar to an Article VII provision introduced in 2005 that was not enacted.

Part S – Reduce the personal needs allowance for certain Safety Net recipients.

This bill reduces the personal needs allowance provided for Safety Net recipients in drug/alcohol residential facilities to an amount equal to that given to recipients in comparable settings.

Current State law mandates the payment of a personal needs allowance to all Safety Net recipients residing in drug treatment facilities certified by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Although the allowance is paid directly to the facilities, it is supposed to be made available to the recipient for the purchase of personal items such as clothing and toiletries. Unlike the personal needs allowance given to public assistance recipients who reside in similar settings, this cash assistance has been linked to the amount given to individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income and, therefore, is subject to an annual Federal cost-of-living adjustment. As of January 2005, Safety Net recipients residing in drug treatment facilities were eligible for a personal needs allowance of $130 per month - an amount which would increase to $135 per month in January 2006. In comparison, the recipients residing in other room and board facilities (i.e., domestic violence shelters, maternity homes) receive $45 per month, which is not adjusted annually for inflation.

By reducing to $45 per month the personal needs allowance of those recipients residing in drug/alcohol facilities, this bill would correct the current inequity in funding which allows one group within the public assistance population to be treated more generously than other recipients.

This is a new proposal.

Part T – Recognize the presence of SSI recipients when determining the grant level of a public assistance household.

This bill requires districts to consider the presence of adults and children in receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when determining the welfare grant of public assistance households.

Under the Federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which has subsequently been replaced, states were prohibited from including the presence of household members in receipt of SSI when making the eligibility and benefit determination of public assistance families. This prohibition resulted in higher welfare benefits for the household. It was repealed in 1996 with the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA).

This bill makes statutory changes to reflect the regulatory change already made to align the State policy to that of the Federal government. This change is also consistent with the process used for households without dependent children, where the SSI recipient’s presence is always considered.

This is a new proposal.

Part U – Create a “Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers” initiative.

This bill assists low-income non-custodial parents to become more economically stable and play a more contributory role in the economic and social well-being of their children.

The bill provides incentives for non-custodial parents to be employed and to become involved in the lives of their children and, thereby, strengthen the family unit.

The bill amends:

Studies indicate that despite the successes of welfare reform, one problem area that still exists is the unemployed/underemployed non-custodial parent, particularly young males. The lack of financial and other support from non-custodial parents contributes to the difficult challenges that many custodial parents and their children face.

The Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers proposal provides a new State EITC as a financial incentive. The credit is structured to provide up to 400 percent of the Federal maximum EITC ($399) for qualified, non-custodial parents between the ages of 18 and 35, who have an order of child support in place, and who have paid in the taxable year at least the amount of their current child support due during the taxable year. While the amount of the benefit will vary, the maximum combined Federal and State EITC could be as high as $1,995. This tax benefit encourages non-custodial parents to work and continue to support their children.

The bill also provides the court with statutory authority to order unemployed and under-employed non-custodial parents into employment programs, where available. In addition, there will be a new demonstration project that will provide intensive employment services and supports for non-custodial parents in up to five counties.

Part V – Establish penalties for local districts’ non-compliance with minimum work requirements.

This bill creates an incentive for local social services districts to increase the work participation rate of families, single adults and childless couples on public assistance by providing additional administrative funds to those districts that engage at least 50 percent of such individuals in work-related activities.

Under current State law, districts must engage at least 50 percent of their non-exempt Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) households (i.e., families that have been on assistance less than five years) and at least 90 percent of their non-exempt Safety Net singles and childless couples in eligible work-related activities.

This bill provides additional funding to districts that meet a 50 percent work participation rate requirement for their entire public assistance population, including those families who have been on public assistance for more than five years (currently districts do not have any work participation rate requirements for this population). Districts that fail to meet this work requirement will not receive the planned increase in State reimbursement of administrative costs associated with implementing the public assistance, food stamps and employment programs.

In addition, this bill amends the current exemption categories to require districts to engage individuals between the ages of 61 and 64 in work activities. Districts are currently allowed to exempt recipients who are over 60 years of age.

Federal welfare reform mandates a 50 percent work participation rate for all TANF families. The fiscal impact of not meeting this work rate is approximately $360 million. Although the Federal government applies a credit to this work requirement based on a state’s historical caseload reduction, the pending reconciliation bill for the Federal budget amends this credit in a manner which would offer less of an offset. Currently, without the caseload credit, New York State’s work participation rate for TANF families is 36 percent – if the reconciliation bill is passed, this rate would need to increase to 48 percent.

Although there is no Federal work requirement for Safety Net singles and those families that have been on assistance for more than five years, the best way to help these recipients attain self-sufficiency is through work. Districts currently exempt 50 percent of this population from any work activities; this proposal will force a reexamination of these exemption decisions.

This bill will not only help the State meet any increased Federal work participation rate requirements, but it will also encourage districts to fully examine all options for engaging all eligible members of the public assistance population in work-related activities.

This bill is similar to two Article VII provisions introduced in 2005.

Part W – Authorize an initiative to seek and implement a Medicaid waiver for foster children.

This bill authorizes the Department of Health, on the advice of the Office of Children and Family Services, to apply for and implement a waiver of certain provisions of the Medicaid program to permit children in foster care with health and mental health needs to obtain medical services not currently available.

Section one adds a new subdivision 12 to Section 366 of the Social Services Law that takes effect immediately and:

Under existing provisions of section 366 of the Social Services Law the Office of Mental Health and the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities are authorized to apply for waivers but there are not specific provisions pertaining to foster children.

This is new legislation.

The multiple and severe medical needs of abused and neglected children argue for innovative, cross-system approaches that make maximum use of Federal Medicaid Waiver strategies to assist in re-designing the current health care system for the child welfare population and their families.

Children in foster care represent a medically needy, hard-to-serve and underserved population. Research indicates that children in foster care have significantly higher rates of unmet health care needs compared to the general population. For example, a recent study by Casey Family Programs and Harvard Medical School found that over 50 percent of young adults who were formerly in foster care had at least one major mental health problem, and one in four will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. National data reflect that upwards of 80 percent of all children in foster care have mental health problems, with approximately 40 percent of all children identified as having significant mental health issues that warrant ongoing clinical intervention. Other reports indicate that 60 percent of children in foster care have a chronic medical condition and 25 percent have three or more chronic conditions. Developmental delays are identified in as many as 60 percent of the youngest children in foster care and as many may have moderate to severe mental health problems. Federal Medicaid Waivers allow states the opportunity to provide medical assistance and improved health care in ways that tailor the services to the individual children to ameliorate their serious medical conditions.

Approximately 30,000 New York State children are a part of the foster care system on any given day. Children in foster care with chronic health care conditions tend to have complex, co-occurring unmet medical, mental health, developmental and substance abuse issues. Due to the frequency of co-morbid conditions, identifying and treating the prevailing disability is often difficult.

Medical and other services for children in foster care across New York State are funded in a variety of ways, making it difficult to design a single improvement strategy. A complex mix of Federal and State funding across several State agencies has evolved to serve the needs of foster children and their families. Traditional health care services for children in foster care are provided through the New York State Medicaid Program. The State’s Medicaid Program is a complex system that has not been consistently able to be responsive to the unique needs of children in foster care.

Given the special and often unique medical needs of foster children and the medical systems’ complexities, it is critical that the State be able to employ the creative strategies offered by the Federal government through the Medicaid Waivers to tailor services to this needy group of children. The Waivers will offer the opportunity to tailor services to individual children, keep many of them in their communities and serve them effectively in less-costly settings. Also, foster children who might otherwise have to be served in costly out-of-state settings may be able to qualify for waiver services and return to New York. The State’s experience with this waiver will also assist us in exploring opportunities for other children involved in the child welfare system.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS:

Part A – Authorize SUNY trustees to transfer SUNY hospital operations to not-for-profit corporations.

Although no immediate savings would accrue to the State as a result of this bill, as a result of the transfer of the SUNY hospitals to new not-for-profit corporations, the State could reduce and/or eliminate the State subsidy to the SUNY hospitals ($139.5 million in the 2006-07 Executive Budget). In addition, upon the completion of such transfer, the State’s All Funds budget would be reduced by over $1.3 billion, the State workforce would be reduced by over 10,000 full-time equivalent employees and SUNY hospital debt could eventually be removed from the State debt cap.

Part B – Modify the composition of the SUNY and CUNY Boards of Trustees.

This bill has no fiscal impact on the State.

Part C – Establish a tuition policy at SUNY and CUNY, including indexing and differential tuition.

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

Part D – Authorize SUNY/ CUNY and OGS to develop a plan for the use of surplus properties to raise additional revenues.

This bill would result in the generation of additional revenue for SUNY and CUNY.

Part E – Establish a new Partnership to Accelerate Completion Time (PACT) Program.

It is estimated that State awards to participating colleges of $250 for each additional on-time associate degree and $500 for each additional on-time bachelor degree conferred could have a full annual cost of $3.6 million in 2010-11.

Part F – Streamline implementation of the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program.

This bill has no fiscal impact on the State.

Part G – Establish a Tuition Reimbursement Program for math and science teachers.

It is estimated that the cost of providing tuition reimbursement for up to 500 additional students each year for out-of-pocket tuition expenses (net of Tuition Assistance Program awards) incurred in 2006-07 will approach $2.0 million in 2007-08 and $3.5 million in 2008-09.

Part H – Reform the State’s education finance system.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget by establishing a framework for certain school aid formulas and out-year reforms.

Part I – Realign fiscal responsibility for tenured teachers’ disciplinary hearings.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget which does not include General Fund support for the Tenured Teacher Hearings Program, which is projected to cost $3.3 million.

Part J – Create the STAR Plus Program.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget, which provides $530 million for this proposal.

Part K – Establish a new Cultural Education Trust.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget which recommends a State operations appropriation of $20 million for projects to enhance the public display of the collections and exhibits of the State Museum, Library and Archives and a capital appropriation of $20 million for a new storage facility for such collections, both appropriations being subject to a plan developed jointly by the Trust and SED.

Part L – Modify the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to reform eligibility criteria.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget since the amount appropriated for TAP reflects the enactment of this legislation.

Part M – Provide cost of living adjustments to the enhanced STAR exemption for seniors.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-2007 Executive Budget, which provides $72 million related to this proposal.

Part N – Transfer radiological health services from Labor to Health.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-2007 Executive Budget because this bill transfers administrative functions of radiation protection programs from DOL to DOH to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The consolidation of oversight for radioactive materials will consist of the transfer of seven staff to DOH, and will also shift revenues to support the function. The laser function remaining with DOL will be handled by a remaining Radiological Health staff member and by existing units, and therefore, no additional staff is needed for these specific purposes. The consolidation will generate $98,000 in non-General Fund savings.

Part O – Conform the initial and renewal fees for asbestos handling licenses.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-2007 Executive Budget because the $185,000 in annual revenue generated by this proposal is necessary to continue programs at their current levels.

Part P – Increase the fines for child care violations and eliminate a redundant approval process.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-2007 Executive Budget, which assumes $56,000 in additional revenue in the first year and $75,000 annually thereafter from increases in maximum child day care fines. These revenues will be deposited into the Quality Child Care and Protection Fund and used to offset General Fund costs associated with quality activities. In addition, eliminating corporate approvals is projected to save $80,000 annually.

Part Q – Authorize withholding of a welfare grant for failure to fulfill an employment obligation.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget, which assumes $11.9 million in related General Fund savings.

Part R – Realign earnings limits to reflect the length of time an individual has been on welfare.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget, which assumes $2.1 million in related General Fund savings.

Part S – Reduce the personal needs allowance for certain Safety Net recipients.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget, which assumes $2.2 million in related General Fund savings.

Part T – Recognize the presence of SSI recipients when determining the grant level of a public assistance household.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2006-07 Executive Budget, which assumes $12.1 million in related General Fund savings.

Part U – Create a “Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers” initiative.

The 2006-2007 Executive Budget includes approximately $16 million in first year costs for the initiative. Up to $3 million will be committed to the demonstration projects, while the remaining amount is estimated as the impact of providing the enhanced State tax credit.

Part V – Establish penalties for local districts’ non-compliance with minimum work requirements.

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the SFY 2006-2007 Executive Budget, which assumes $11.4 million in related General Fund savings. Since the provision will only be enforced in the fourth quarter of SFY 2006-07, the SFY 2006-07 savings represents only one quarter of full annual savings.

Part W – Authorize an initiative to seek and implement a Medicaid waiver for foster children.

Due to the time required for Federal approval and State implementation, it is unlikely that there would be significant impact on Medicaid spending before SFY 2008-09.  Additionally, it is likely that the future impact will be minimal since waiver spending would generally replace rather than increase existing Medicaid spending for foster children. However, $500,000 is recommended in the 2006-07 Executive Budget to provide the necessary administrative support for waiver preparation and implementation.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Part A – Authorize SUNY trustees to transfer SUNY hospital operations to not-for-profit corporations.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part B – Modify the composition of the SUNY and CUNY Boards of Trustees.

This bill takes effect July 1, 2006.

Part C – Establish a tuition policy at SUNY and CUNY, including indexing and differential tuition.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part D – Authorize SUNY/ CUNY and OGS to develop a plan for the use of surplus properties to raise additional revenues.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part E – Establish a new Partnership to Accelerate Completion Time (PACT) Program.

This bill takes effect July 1, 2006.

Part F – Streamline implementation of the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part G – Establish a Tuition Reimbursement Program for math and science teachers.

This bill takes effect July 1, 2006.

Part H – Reform the State’s education finance system.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006, except that selected provisions take effect immediately or on other specified dates.

Part I – Realign fiscal responsibility for tenured teachers’ disciplinary hearings.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part J – Create the STAR Plus Program.

This bill takes effect immediately.

Part K – Establish a new Cultural Education Trust.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part L – Modify the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to reform eligibility criteria.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part M – Provide cost of living adjustments to the enhanced STAR exemption for seniors.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006 and applies to enhanced STAR exemptions effective with the 2006-07 school year.

Part N – Transfer radiological health services from Labor to Health.

This bill takes effect July 1, 2006.

Part O – Conform the initial and renewal fees for asbestos handling licenses.

This bill takes effect immediately.

Part P – Increase the fines for child care violations and eliminate a redundant approval process.

This bill takes effect immediately.

Part Q – Authorize withholding of a welfare grant for failure to fulfill an employment obligation.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part R – Realign earnings limits to reflect the length of time an individual has been on welfare.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006, and impacts grants paid on and after October 1, 2006.

Part S – Reduce the personal needs allowance for certain Safety Net recipients.

This bill takes effect on the first day of the first month which begins not sooner than sixty days after enactment.

Part T – Recognize the presence of SSI recipients when determining the grant level of a public assistance household.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006, and impacts grants paid on and after October 1, 2006.

Part U – Create a “Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers” initiative.

This bill takes effect immediately, except that section one applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2006 and before January 1, 2013.

Part V – Establish penalties for local districts’ non-compliance with minimum work requirements.

This bill takes effect April 1, 2006.

Part W – Authorize an initiative to seek and implement a Medicaid waiver for foster children.

This bill takes effect immediately but implementation is contingent on obtaining Federal waivers.

^ Top