A state senator and assemblyman, both from the Hudson Valley, say they have a bipartisan solution to curb unfunded mandates. They also say they are banding together as outsiders and want their constituents to know about it.
About three months ago, Democratic state Senator Terry Gipson proposed a state constitutional amendment to prohibit certain unfunded mandates. He says the measure is a bold one.
He says making the case for his bill is stronger, now that he has found a partner in the Assembly – Republican Kieran Lalor.
The Ulster County executive is behind a statewide tour to learn how municipalities in New York are best coping with fiscal challenges. This comes during an era of unfunded mandates and a two-percent property tax cap. He says the idea is to prevent communities from becoming distressed or on the brink of bankruptcy.
The initiative is called PAYGo NY. Ulster County Executive Michael Hein says it harkens back to a philosophy of pay as you go. Hein is also president of the New York State County Executives Association.
More than a dozen, local elected officials stood with New York State Senator Greg Ball Thursday, urging state lawmakers to pass a comprehensive mandate relief package. They say without mandate relief beyond what Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed in his 2013-2014 budget, municipalities, and school districts will go broke. They assembled at Yorktown Town Hall in Westchester. Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was there.
And here’s Republican Senator from Putnam County Greg Ball.
In the governor’s State-of-the-State address, there was no mention of mandate relief, yet several county executives said they were not expecting to hear much about it then, that it would be during the governor’s budget address where they would expect some details about coping with unfunded mandates. Governor Cuomo did speak to unfunded mandates in his proposed 2013-2014 budget address Tuesday, introducing the topic this way.
Stephen Acquario is the executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, or NYSAC.