The Mandate: The state-mandated procedure for entering into purchase and public works contracts is burdensome. Adding to this archaic and costly process is the requirement that local governments purchase certain commodities and services from Preferred Source Vendors, even if the Preferred Source's price exceeds the prevailing market price by as much as 15%. This price preference is in effect a requirement for local taxpayers to pay for a state created subsidy.

Read more: Requiring Municipalities to Use Preferred Source Vendors

The Mandate: Pursuant to General Municipal Law § 103, local governments are required to follow complex and cumbersome procedures to purchase goods exceeding $20,000 and contract for public works exceeding $35,000.  In November 2009, the monetary threshold for public works contracts was raised from $20,000 to $35,000, and in April 2010, the threshold for purchase contracts was raised from $10,000 to $20,000.  While these increases are a step in the right direction, further reform is still needed.  Given the rising costs of construction, essentially every project pursued by a local governmentis subject to competitive bidding, as tall but the most minor of procurements exceed the current statutory parameters.

Read more: Competitive Bidding Reform

The Mandate: The Wicks Law - was put into place to promote competition and protect workers' rights. Named for Senator Arthur Wicks who sponsored a bill to expand the law in 1946, the Wicks Law requires that, under General Municipal Law § 101, state and local government construction projects (including school district construction projects) costing more than $3 million in New York City, $1.5 million in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, and $500,000 in the rest of the state are subject to separate plumbing, heating/ventilation/air conditioning, and electrical contracts. The requirement has proven to be one of the most onerous mandates facing local governments.

Read more: The Wicks Law