Ritchie Bill To Cut School District Costs Gets Final Passage

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her bill to provide mandate relief to local school districts by eliminating the duplicative requirement for annual visual inspections of school buildings has passed the State Senate.

The measure was first suggested by Senator Ritchie’s local Mandate Relief Working Group. Established in 2011, the group, which includes local leaders from Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties, aims to find ways to provide relief to hardworking New York taxpayers by slashing mandates.

Since its founding, they have proposed two dozen recommendations for cutting government spending and eliminating costly, unfunded mandates, several of which have been enacted into law.

“This legislation is just one example of a duplicative, wasteful mandate that costs our school districts, and our taxpayers, money,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’d like to thank the members of my Local Mandate Relief Working Group for their efforts to identify ways we can cut costs. We have made some great progress and I look forward to continuing to work with them on ways to rein in government spending.”

Under existing law, public school buildings must undergo an “annual visual inspection.”

In addition, as part of a five-year Capital Facilities Plan, school districts must also submit a five-year building condition survey which evaluates the need for maintenance, repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction of facilities.

Under Senator Ritchie’s measure, (S.3968-A) the duplicative and less stringent AVI would be eliminated.

The legislation will now be sent to the Governor for his signature.