THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

Cultural Education Committee

 

FROM:

Carole F. Huxley

SUBJECT:

Amendment to Section 90.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to State aid for Public Library Construction

 

DATE:

 

August 7, 2006

 

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 2-5

 

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Decision

 

          Should the Regents amend section 90.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, relating to requirements for State aid for public library construction?

 

Reason(s) for Consideration

 

          The proposed amendment is necessary to conform the Commissioner's Regulations to recent changes to Education Law section 273-a, so that funds for public library construction and renovation projects, appropriated pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2006, are timely awarded pursuant to statutory requirements to eligible public libraries and public library systems.

 

Proposed Handling

 

          The proposed amendment will be submitted for adoption as an emergency measure at the September 2006 Regents meeting.

 

Procedural History

 

          Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2006, which provides an appropriation for $14 million in library construction funds, originated with the 10 recommendations of the Regents Commission on Library Services.  It is a component of the proposed New Century Libraries legislation, which was based on the recommendations made by the Commission after two years of studying the State's libraries, including 14 public meetings held throughout the State to solicit input from the public and the library community.

 

          In addition, in 2003, staff of the New York State Library's Division of Library Development had a conference call with representatives of the Public Library System Directors Organization (PULSIDO) and also attended the annual PULSIDO meeting to discuss the construction program, which resulted in suggestions for changing the program. 

 

          In addition to revising the regulation to conform to Education Law section 273-a, additional changes have been made upon recommendation of the State's public library systems to facilitate the State aid application procedures.     

 

Background Information

 

The proposed amendment is needed to ensure that the Commissioner's Regulations are in compliance with recent changes to Education Law section 273-a.  Chapter 572 of the Laws of 2003 amended section 273-a to change the funding year from one year to three years and the payment year from 'January 1 through December 31' to 'July 1 through June 30.'   Section 4 of Part O of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2005 amended section 273-a to change the payment schedule from a 50/40/10 percent basis to a 90/10 percent basis.  The proposed amendment will also provide libraries with greater flexibility in applying for grant funds.  Projects that are not completed but are more than 60 percent complete will now be eligible for funding.   Projects that will not be ready to start for up to 180 days will now be eligible for funding, as opposed to 90 days previously.

 

The recommended action is proposed as an emergency measure to enable the timely implementation of public library construction projects in fiscal year 2006-07.  A Statement of the Facts and Circumstances Which Necessitate Emergency Action is attached.

 

Supporting materials for the proposed amendment are available upon request from the Secretary to the Board of Regents.  A Notice of Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on August 23, 2006.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Board of Regents take the following action:

 

VOTED:  That subdivision (b), paragraphs (2) and (4) of subdivision (c), paragraph (4) of subdivision (d), and subdivisions (f) and (g) of section 90.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended as submitted, effective September 15, 2006, as an emergency measure upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare in order to immediately conform section 90.12 of the Commissioner's Regulations, relating to State aid for library construction, to Education Law section 273-a so that funds appropriated pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2006 for public library construction and renovation projects may be timely awarded pursuant to statutory requirements to eligible public libraries and public library systems.

 

Timetable for Implementation

 

          The emergency adoption will take effect on September 15, 2006 and will remain in effect for 90 days.  It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented for adoption as a permanent rule at the October 23-24, 2006 Regents meeting.

 

 

 

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF SECTION 90.12 OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 207, 215 AND 273-a OF THE EDUCATION LAW AND CHAPTER 53 OF THE LAWS OF 2006, RELATING TO STATE AID FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH NECESSITATE EMERGENCY ADOPTION

          The proposed amendment is needed to ensure that the Commissioner's Regulations are in compliance with recent changes to Education Law section 273-a.  Chapter 572 of the Laws of 2003 amended section 273-a to change the funding year from one year to three years and the payment year from 'January 1 through December 31' to 'July 1 through June 30.'   Section 4 of Part O of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2005 amended section 273-a to change the payment schedule from a 50/40/10 percent basis to a 90/10 percent basis.  Section 1 of Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2006 appropriates $14 million for public library construction and renovation projects pursuant to Education Law section 273-a.  The proposed amendment will ensure that funds appropriated pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2006 for public library construction and renovation projects are timely awarded pursuant to statutory requirements to eligible public library systems and public libraries.

          The proposed amendment will also permit libraries greater flexibility in applying for grant funds.  Projects that are not completed but are more than 60 percent complete will now be eligible for funding.   Projects that will not be ready to start for up to 180 days will now be eligible for funding, as opposed to 90 days previously.

          Because the Board of Regents meets at fixed intervals, the earliest the proposed amendment could be presented for regular adoption, after publication in the State Register and expiration of the 45-day public comment period, is the October 23-24, 2006 Regents meeting.  Pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act, the earliest effective date of the proposed amendment, if adopted at the October meeting, would be November 16, 2006, the date a Notice of Adoption would be published in the State Register.

          Emergency action to adopt the proposed amendment is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare in order to immediately conform section 90.12 of the Commissioner's Regulations, relating to State aid for library construction, to Education Law section 273-a so that funds appropriated pursuant to Chapter 53 of the laws of 2006 for public library construction and renovation projects may be timely awarded pursuant to statutory requirements to eligible public libraries and public library systems.

          It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented to the Board of Regents for adoption as a permanent rule at the October 23-24, 2006 meeting of the Board of Regents, which is the first scheduled meeting after expiration of the 45-day public comment period mandated by the State Administrative Procedure Act.

AMENDMENT OF SECTION 90.12 OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION

          Pursuant to sections 207, 215 and 273-a of the Education Law and Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2006

          1.  Subdivision (b) of section 90.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is amended, effective September 15, 2006, as follows:

(b)  Application procedures.  (1)  Each public library system shall submit to the commissioner, no later than a prescribed date, as part of a plan of service, a plan by which it will accept, review, and make recommendations on applications as required by Education Law, section 273-a(2).  [Such plans shall include a schedule of such actions, local funds matching requirements, planning and technical requirements, and procedures to be followed.]

     (2)  When the applicant is a library, the governing board of the system of which it is a member shall indicate to the commissioner its approval of such application by stating the extent to which the project for which State aid is requested will assist the applicant to provide more effective service within the systemís standards of organization and service.  [If the governing board of the system does not approve a member libraryís application, such application shall be submitted to the commissioner with an explanation of such nonapproval.]

          (3)  .   .   .

          (4) The library system board shall rank the applications from its system area in order of its recommendations, giving particular attention to the service needs of any communities which are isolated or economically disadvantaged, or located beyond the reasonable service capabilities of other libraries which are members of such library system.

          2.  Paragraphs (2) and (4) of subdivision (c) of section 90.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education are amended, effective September 15, 2006, as follows:

          (2)  the nonstate share of the cost of the project is or will be available, that the project has been started or will begin within [90] 180 days after approval by the commissioner, and that the project will be completed promptly and in accordance with the application;

          (4)  [not more than 60 percent of the approved costs have been expended as of the date of the application] the project has not been completed prior to the date of the application;

          3.  Paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of section 90.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is amended, effective September 15, 2006, as follows:

          (4) the provision of library services in communities which are geographically isolated or economically disadvantaged; and

          4.  Subdivision (f) of section 90.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is amended, effective September 15, 2006, as follows:

          (f)  Schedule of payment of State aid for library construction.  (1)  [Fifty-] Ninety-percent payment of awarded State aid for approved costs of the project will be made after notification of applicant by the commissioner of approval for funding.

          (2) [An additional 40-percent payment will be made after certification by the applicant that the project has been 50-percent completed in accordance with the approved application.

          (3)] The 10-percent final payment will be made after submission of satisfactory evidence that the project has been completed according to the approved application and has been accepted by the applicant.

          5.  Subdivision (g) of section 90.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is amended, effective September 15, 2006, as follows:

          (g)  Reports.  The following reports shall be made to the commissioner on the forms and by the dates prescribed by the commissioner:

          (1)  .   .   .

          (2) [Each library system board shall report on the status of any project for which an approved application was submitted to the commissioner, but for which no State aid was provided.

          (3) Each library system board shall report on the status of each project submitted to the commissioner for which the system did not recommend approval.

(4)] Each library system board shall report on the anticipated State aid necessary for eligible projects to be completed in its service area.

(3) Upon request by the commissioner, each library system board shall submit an annual report detailing the status of each project for which an application was submitted by a member library and not recommended for approval, or was approved but for which no state aid was provided.