2006 Legislative Report from the
|Sheldon Silver, Speaker • RoAnn Destito, Chair • Fall 2006
As Chair of the Standing Committee on Governmental Operations, I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on the activities of the Committee. The Committee has had a productive year, working diligently on a number of issues, including enhancing the state’s disaster preparedness and response capabilities, protecting residents from identity theft, and ensuring the public’s right to know by strengthening the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). If you have any questions about information in this newsletter, would like copies of legislation, or would like to share any ideas or concerns, please contact my office at (518) 455-5454.
|Crime Victims Package
In recognition of Crime Victims week, April 23rd-29th, the Committee reported and the Assembly passed legislation to help crime victims and their families regain control of their lives.
The nine-bill legislative package covered a wide range of victim assistance issues, including bills that would:
|State’s Disaster Preparedness and Response Reviewed
Since September 2005, the Committee has held six hearings on various disaster preparedness and response issues. The Committee held hearings jointly with the Committees on Corporations and Cities on September 29, 2005, October 31, 2005, and on July 7, 2006, to review New York City’s emergency evacuation plan. As a direct result of these hearings, the New York City Office of Emergency Management updated their emergency evacuation plan to include enhanced public outreach and include vulnerable populations (e.g., nursing homes) in the evacuation plan.
On February 9, 2006, the Committee participated in a joint hearing with the Committee on Environmental Conservation on Dam Safety. Federal, State, New York City and local officials testified about the responsibility and upkeep of New York State dams. Citizen advocacy groups testified about concerns regarding safety and public awareness.
On December 15, 2005, and on March 9, 2006, the Committee participated in joint hearings with the Committee on Local Governments on State Disaster Preparedness. State and local officials, as well as private industry and consumer groups, participated in the hearings to discuss disaster planning and response. As a direct result of these hearings, $5.7 million was allocated in the State fiscal year 2006-07 budget for counties to use in formulating county disaster preparedness plans.
As a result of all these hearings, the Assembly passed a package of bills that would strengthen the State’s disaster preparedness efforts. The package includes the following bills, which would:
|Identity Theft Protection Package
The package would:
|Strengthening the Public’s Right to Know
Days of Commemoration
Days of Commemoration honor people or events that have had a profound impact on New York State. This year, the Committee reported and the Assembly passed four bills. The bills would designate as a day of commemoration:
|Minority and Women Business Enterprise Update
The Assembly has held a series of hearings across the State on the effectiveness of the MWBE program. MWBE owners who testified expressed dissatisfaction with the effectiveness and implementation of Article 15-A.* In 2005, to address the concerns raised, the Speaker of the Assembly created the Governmental Operations Subcommittee on Oversight of MWBEs dedicated to reviewing and addressing policy concerns in this area. In 2006, the Assembly passed a package of nine bills to strengthen and improve Article 15-A. The provisions of the package would:
The Assembly was successful in getting the streamlined certification process, the State disparity study and a statewide advocate program enacted in the state fiscal year 2006-07 budget.
*Hearings and roundtables to obtain MWBE participant’s feedback were held in Buffalo, New York City, Syracuse and Utica. Hearings on State Authority and Agency Compliance were held in Albany and New York City.
Assemblymember RoAnn Destito, Chair
Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations
Room 621 LOB • Albany, NY 12248 • 518.455.5454
New York State Assembly
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