Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne's legislation aimed at saving taxpayer dollars passes New York State Assembly

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, announced legislation she sponsored aimed at saving taxpayer dollars on purchases by municipalities and authorities passed the state Assembly on Monday.

The legislation (A-1541-B) extends the sunset provision for a general municipal law that grants localities greater contract flexibility and cost savings by permitting certain shared purchasing among political subdivisions until 2021.

"This is a common sense bill that is good for local municipalities and good for taxpayers. It extends the sunset provision so local governments can buy off other municipal contracts that have items selling for lower prices than would otherwise be available. Many local governments in the North Country have benefitted from this flexibility," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The bill passed the state Assembly in a unanimous 137-0 vote.

Cooperative purchasing, commonly referred to as piggy-backing, is a procurement method that allows a contract to be utilized by other government agencies on the same terms and conditions if they went through the procurement process and awarded a contract to one or more vendors for a particular product or service.

Assemblywoman Jenne reiterated piggy-backing has been proven to reduce administrative and product costs, increase efficiencies and stretch shrinking budgets during difficult times.

She said the law allowing piggy-backing was signed in 2012, but Assemblywoman Jenne said there were legal steps that had to be followed so the roll out of the new provisions took time.

"This period of investigation and policy formation did not provide many agencies with the opportunity to take advantage of piggy-backing's soft and hard cost savings until late 2014, and yet there are over 2,100 participating agencies," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

She pointed out over the past four years the state's Office of General Services has piggy-backed multiple cooperative contracts offered via national purchasing cooperatives providing opportunities for cost savings.

"A number of local officials around the state have incorporated piggy-backing into their efficiency studies, budgeting and capital planning. They have found great savings and were concerned they would lose this option if the sunset provision was not extended," Assemblywoman Jenne said.