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New Policies For State Issued Parking Placards

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY –

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced rigorous new policies for state issued parking placards after a review by State Inspector General Ellen Biben found systemic problems with how the placards were distributed and how they were used by some state employees. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The new placard policy would take signs bearing the phrase "Police Vehicle Identification" out of the hands of non-police personnel, including state lawmakers and commissioners. Officials have been receiving complaints of misuse of state-issued parking placards for years.

"Government issued parking placards are meant to be used by state employees when they are doing official business," Governor Cuomo said. "Under my administration, abuses of government powers will be stopped and those responsible will be held accountable. I applaud Inspector General Biben for her review of the distribution and use of parking placards, and for her recommendations reforming the system to hold those who have placards responsible for their actions."

"Too often we hear stories of the abuses of parking placards," Inspector General Biben said. "Parking placards are not perks - period. These new policies intelligently transform the system from one that was flawed and ripe for abuse and to one that is transparent and will make individuals personally accountable for use of their placards."

In the past, placards have been given out by the state's homeland security office, in response to requests made by the State Senate, State Assembly and various state agencies, which in turn distributed them to individual lawmakers and state employees. In the end, hundreds of placards were in circulation, but no one could account for who had them and if they were being used legally. Although sometimes spotted on vehicles parked in Albany, Inspector General Biben says the placards have no validity outside of New York City, where they have historically been used and abused. Currently, the state distributes two types of parking placards. One says "police" in all capital letters, the other says "official business." As a result of the Inspector General review, the Governor's office will reduce the number of police placards distributed by over 84 percent from 1730 to 261 by limiting the distribution of police placards to only police personnel. The placards will also be redesigned for greater transparency. Additionally, officials will create an application and approval process for receiving a placard - a protocol that previously did not exist. The new policy follows a similar one initiated in 2008 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which reformed New York City's parking placard system.