Comptroller DiNapoli's Legislative Program
Since taking office in 2007, Comptroller DiNapoli has proposed legislation to increase accountability and transparency of New York state and local government. These efforts have focused on reforming not only the investment practices of the Common Retirement Fund, the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System, the New York Police and Fire Retirement System, but also the State budget process, state procurement practices and school accountability. Comptroller DiNapoli is committed to strengthening New York’s laws to:
- Ensure accountability, transparency and appropriate spending of taxpayer dollars,
- Stop fraud and abuse,
- Improve the effectiveness of government programs, and
- Protect the interests of New York’s citizens.
Legislative Session 2015-2016:
- Ethical Standards for State Agency Contractors Act – Submitted to the Legislature - Establishes ethical standards for certain state agency contractors performing inherently governmental and mission-critical functions or rendering a service or services pursuant to an information-risk contract.
- Local Government Ethics – Submitted to the Legislature – Relates to conflicts of interest of municipal officers and employers; codes of ethics and boards of ethics; repealer.
- Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) – A.5525 (Abbate) - To provide the State and certain local governments with the authority to establish trusts in which to accumulate assets for other post-employment benefits (OPEB) and to establish an OPEB investment fund in the sole custody of the State Comptroller for the investment of OPEB assets of the State and participating eligible local governments and other public corporations.
- Enhanced Penalties for Abuse of Public Trust Crimes – A.5053 (Abbate) - Imposes a mandatory fine upon certain public officers convicted of a designated felony offense related to their official duties; relates to the crime of official misconduct and to abuse of public trust crimes.
- Natural Gas Damage Compensation Fund – Submitted to the Legislature - Establishes the natural gas production contamination response and compensation program; and creates the New York natural gas production contamination damage recovery and remediation fund.
- Payment of Retirement Benefits – A.5055 (Abbate) - Requires the payment of retirement benefits by the New York State and Local Retirement System by direct deposit or debit card, with the transition to the new method of payment being made incrementally.
- Public Authorities Reform Act Cleanup – A.5415 (Brennan) - Makes necessary changes to the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009.
- Pre-Audit - State Insurance Fund – Submitted to the Legislature - Relates to the pre-audit of expenditures from the state insurance fund by the state comptroller; repealer.
- Placement Agent Ban – A. 5054 (Abbate) - Codifies the current OSC policy which bans the use of placement agents, paid intermediaries and registered lobbyists in obtaining investments with the Common Retirement Fund.
- Employer Contribution Calculation – Submitted to the Legislature - Provides for the calculation of employer contributions for the funding of the New York state and local employees’ retirement system and the New York state and local police and fire retirement system (the Retirement System or System) on the basis of rates determined on known salaries from the prior fiscal year rather than on an estimate of salaries from the incomplete current fiscal year.
- Short Term Interest Pool (STIP) Increase – Submitted to the Legislature - Allows for an increase in the dollar amount the Comptroller is permitted to hold in indebtedness of certain agencies, corporations and bank or trust companies.
- Prompt Payment–Submitted to the Legislature - To meet the intent of the prompt contracting law, allows the accrual of interest for a period of time a payment is delayed due to the fund or sub-fund from which the payment is to be made having insufficient cash.
- Direct Deposit for New State Employees – A.5526 (Abbate) - Requires the payment of salaries by direct deposit for state employees hired after January 1, 2016.
- Notice of Assessment on State Lands – Submitted to the Legislature - Conforms statutory language with operational procedures relating to assessments on state lands.
Enacted Legislation 2013-2014:
- Abandoned Property - Finders Cleanup – Signed into law as Chapter 372 of the laws of 2014 - S.7147 (Felder)/A.9116 (Simanowitz) – Clarifies language relating to the type of abandoned property that is subject to abandoned property location services; specifically, abandoned property delivered to the state of New York and held by the State Comptroller. This corrects the problems that arise when the finder and claimant are located out of state. Relates to comptroller audits of certain organizations controlled by municipal corporations and certain other government entities.
- Special Education Preschool Provider Program Oversight – Signed into law on December 18, 2013 as Chapter 545 of the laws of 2013 - S. 5568 - A (Flanagan) and A. 7302 - A (Nolan) - Requires the Comptroller to audit the expenses reported to the Department of Education by every special education services program provider for preschool children with disabilities in this State at least once by March 31, 2018. Additionally, requires such providers to certify that it meet certain criteria. Finally, directs the Department of Education to study alternative systems of reimbursement methodologies and monitoring protocols for the tuition and maintenance components of special education services programs for preschool children with disabilities.
- Extend Repayment of Inter-fund Advances – Signed into law on October 22, 2013 as Chapter 421 of the laws of 2013 – S. 4725 (Rules) and A. 5549 (Magnarelli) – Inter-fund advances normally must be repaid within the fiscal year in which they occur. This proposal would extend the time for repaying these internal loans.
- Use of Reserve Funds – Signed into law on October 22, 2013 as Chapter 422 of the laws of 2013 – S. 4726 (Rules) and A. 5550 (Magnarelli) - Temporarily ease restrictions on the use of reserve funds to allow impacted local governments and school districts to pay for Sandy-related expenses.
- Issuance of Storm Bonds – Signed into law on November 13, 2013 as Chapter 476 of the laws of 2013 – S. 4729 (Rules) and A. 5551 (Magnarelli) – Provide local governments flexibility in borrowing to pay for storm costs. The changes would allow local governments to issue bonds to be repaid over five years. Local governments are normally restricted from borrowing money to pay for non-capital expenses.
- Refund of Surcharges and Fees – Signed into law on December 18, 2013 as Chapter 525 of the laws of 2013 – S. 4485 (Nozzolio) and A. 7182 (Mosley) - Corrects a technical error in the Penal Law so that applications for the refund of certain mandatory surcharges and fees are sent to the department, agency or court that collected the surcharge or fee rather than the State Comptroller.
- Electronic Bidding Extender – Signed into law on July 31, 2013 as Chapter 298 of the laws of 2013 – S. 5559 (Martins) and A. 7212 (Magnarelli) - Extends the expiration date of the law relating to electronic bidding which allows greater flexibility to local governments in conducting public sales of bonds and soliciting bids and offers for purchase contracts by authorizing utilization of current technology to accept bids and offers submitted in an electronic format.
- Statutory Implementation/ Sewer Debt Extender – Signed into law on July 22, 2014 as Chapter 150 of the laws of 2014 – S.6409(Martins) and A.8480(Magnarelli) - Makes the necessary statutory changes to implement the amendment to Article 8, Section 5(E) of the State Constitution approved by the voters on November 5, 2013. Extends, until 2024, the existing authorization for counties, cities, towns and villages to exclude from their constitutional debt limitations indebtedness issued for the construction or reconstruction of facilities for the conveyance, treatment and disposal of sewage.
- Procurement Threshold Cleanup – Signed into law on July 22, 2014 as Chapter 173 of the laws of 2014 – S.7351(Martins) and A.9902 (Perry) – Makes technical corrections relating to thresholds for the purchase of goods and services.
- Abandoned Property- Court Withdrawal Actions - Signed into law on November 21, 2014 as Chapter 453 of the laws of 2014 – S.7332 (DeFrancisco)/A.9577 (Farrell) – Clarifies that court withdrawal actions must be commenced in the court of original jurisdiction and specifically bars the commencement of court withdrawal actions as special proceedings against the State Comptroller.
- Consolidated Reporting – Signed into law on August 11, 2014 as Chapter 317 of the laws of 2014 – S.7324 (Marcellino) and A.9923 (Buchwald) – Consolidates certain statutory procurement and consulting reports.
- Multi-year Financial Planning – Signed into law on December 17, 2014 as Chapter 526 of the laws of 2014 – S.7352 (Martins) and A.9823 (Zebrowski) – Authorizes the reimbursement of certain costs incurred by municipalities in engaging in multi-year financial planning from monies appropriated to the financial restructuring board for local governments.