New City, NY (March 19, 2014) – The Rockland County Legislature passed a resolution sponsored by Legislator Barry Kantrowitz (District 5/New City-Pomona) that supports bills introduced in the State Legislature, that if passed would establish the “New York State School Taxpayers’ Protection Act” and a process to address charges that may arise concerning financial improprieties within public school districts outside of NYC.
Assembly bill A.1328 and Senate bill S.1781 recommend, among other things, the creation of an independent state agency, the Office of the Inspector General for Education. The IG would have the authority to investigate allegations of corruption, financial improprieties, unethical misconduct or other criminal conduct within public school districts outside of NYC. The bills also would incorporate extensive financial safeguards and sanctions for violations of school district finance laws.
Legislator Kantrowitz said, “This bill increases the financial reporting requirements, protects whistleblowers, and establishes a statutory framework to deal with corruption and fiscal mismanagement in school districts throughout the state. The cost of this needed oversight should be covered and exceeded by the savings that will come from reduced incidents of fraud and improper conduct.” The bill also proposes to curtail unfunded state mandates, which Kantrowitz said, “should ease the financial burden on districts and local tax payers.”