Albany Law School's Government Law Center (GLC) recently appointed Amelia Stern as the 2010-2011 Rapp Government Lawyer in Residence.
In her new role, Stern will work with the GLC faculty and staff to develop a greater visibility and focus on state administrative law. She also plans to explore a cost benefit analysis of the investment of state funds in civil legal services.
GLC Director and Associate Dean Patricia Salkin said, "Ms. Stern will enhance the Government Law Center's presence in the field of state administrative law, and she brings a depth of knowledge and practical experience that will benefit students, faculty and staff."
GLC Executive Director Bennett Liebman added, "There simply is nobody who matches Ms. Stern's expertise in New York state administrative law."
Stern, an attorney for New York state for nearly 30 years, most recently served as acting director of the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform (GORR). She was the counsel for regulatory reform for the past 15 years and the lead drafter of 1995 Executive Order No. 20, which established GORR and its regulatory review and reform functions. As counsel, Stern served as the office's legislative and regulatory liaison with the Executive Chamber and state agencies, and was its ethics, FOIL appeals, internal control and information security officer.
While at GORR, Stern implemented and oversaw its regulatory program, which reviews the proposed rules of approximately 60 agencies and works closely with the Executive Chamber to resolve policy and legal issues prior to their submittal for review and comment under the State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA) as proposed or emergency adoptions. She drafted and negotiated numerous legislative amendments to SAPA. She also worked on several committees for Governor Paterson's Office of Taxpayer Accountability, including shared state services and local mandate relief.
Stern also provided staff support for Governor Spitzer's Commission on Property Tax Relief and wrote or directed working papers for the commission on voter involvement in the school budget process, as well as drivers of school tax costs, including collective bargaining provisions and state mandates.
She also served on Governor Pataki's Tort Reform Task Force and Governor Paterson's Small Business Task Force, and she led numerous efforts to reform existing state agency regulations, permits and related requirements pursuant to executive orders issued by Governors Hugh Carey, Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.
In addition, Stern was an evaluator of civil legal services providers' applications for $3.2 million in the 2007 state budget in state civil legal services funding. She was instrumental in assisting the IOLA Fund to reform its regulations regarding the interest rates paid by banks on IOLA accounts so that these rates rise and fall with the market rather than being fixed, as they were, at far below market rates.
Stern has been a member of the Albany Law School Government Law Center Advisory Board since 1995 and received an Excellence in Government Service Award from Albany Law School in 2008. She is a contributing author for The Treatise on New York Environmental Law and New York State Administrative Procedure and Practice (Borchers & Markell), 2d ed. She also provided research assistance for an article recently published by Yale and Columbia Law schools on using states' regulatory processes to achieve public interest law reform, http://www.law.yale.edu/intellectuallife/whythelocalmatters.htm.