Local governments in New York would be able to save money by piggybacking off federal purchasing contracts if a bill being debated in the Assembly is passed.
The concept is simple, and familiar to wholesale shoppers everywhere: Buying in bulk is cheaper. But New Yorks local governments are cut off from the bulk purchases of other states and the federal government, the only state that doesnt allow the frugal practice.
Instead of just using New Yorks purchasing power, now, you have the entire purchasing power of the nation., said Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, the bills prime sponsor in the lower chamber. Just by passing this law, we could see pretty immediate savings.
The bill was passed out of a committee last week, and is headed toward the Ways and Means Committee. If the measure makes it through that committee, it would then go to the Assembly floor for a vote.
Mrs. Russell said shes optimistic about its passage.
I would think that once we get through the committee process, it has a reasonable chance of passing, she said, noting its bipartisan support it passed the state Senate unanimously last year.
It stalled in Assembly in 2011, though, because it was introduced too late in session, Mrs. Russell said.
Right now, if a local government needs to purchase anything from pencils to shovels to snow plows, it can piggyback off contracts within the state. But it cant look to other states to do so, even though the 49 others can.
Mrs. Russell estimates that, depending on whats being purchased, local governments would save 5 to 25 percent if theyre allowed to piggyback on national contracts.
The bill would still require that the national contracts be subject to New Yorks competitive bidding requirements, and does not absolve responsibilities to meet minority- and women-owned business quotas.