The New York State Senate approved legislation (S.5525B), sponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), that would allow local governments to cooperatively purchase, or piggy-back, on contracts already approved for other government agencies, including those of other states or the federal government.

The same terms and conditions of a contract already awarded would apply and there is a provision in the legislation to ensure that competitive bidding standards consistent with state law must have been used.

“This is a cost savings measure,” said Senator Betty Little. “It gives our local governments a lot more options when they have a need to contract for goods or services.”

Little said 48 states have either explicitly authorized cooperative purchasing or they have enacted a general joint powers statute or intergovernmental cooperation law that permits local public agencies to purchase from cooperative contracts that were solicited by another public agency.

“We need to give local governments more flexibility to save every tax dollar they can,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “This bill would help localities work together to economize and operate more efficiently.” New York does not have statutory language in place that authorizes cooperative purchasing between New York's local governments and the federal, state or local governments elsewhere in the United States. This bill would amend the General Municipal Law to allow for such cooperative purchasing.

The legislation was delivered to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie Russell.