The Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments is a ten-member panel available year round to offer assistance to eligible municipalities. The Board is chaired by the Budget Director and includes the State Comptroller, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and six other members appointed by the Governor. Of these six appointees, one is recommended by the Temporary President of the Senate, and one is recommended by the Speaker of the Assembly. At least one of the Governor’s appointees is required to have significant municipal financial and restructuring experience.
Any county, city (except New York City), town, or village deemed a Fiscally Eligible Municipality by the Board may request, by resolution of its governing board with the concurrence of its chief executive, a Comprehensive Review from the Board. If the Board decides to undertake a Comprehensive Review of a municipality, it can request any information necessary to understand the municipality’s finances and operations. Based on this information, the Board would make recommendations to that municipality on improving its fiscal stability, management, and the delivery of public services. In addition, the Board could offer grants and/or loans of up to $5 million through the Local Government Performance and Efficiency Program for undertaking certain recommendations. If the municipality agrees to undertake the Board’s recommendations, it would be contractually bound to fulfill those terms in order to receive the aid.
The Board also serves as an alternative arbitration panel for binding arbitration. If a municipality is a Fiscally Eligible Municipality and eligible for binding arbitration with a municipal union (e.g. police, fire, or deputy sheriff unions), the municipality, by resolution of its governing board with the concurrence of its chief executive, and the municipal union may jointly agree to have the Board serve as its binding arbitration panel. The Board would make a just and reasonable determination of the matters in dispute by majority vote. The determination would be final and binding on the municipality and municipal union.