O'Mara, colleagues move to end unfunded state mandates as part of comprehensive reform effort

 
Albany, N.Y., June 10--The State Senate today kicked off a comprehensive effort announced late last week to reform state rules, regulations and mandates by approving a series of relief measures including legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to end the practice of unfunded state mandates on local governments and school districts.

The O’Mara-sponsored legislation was approved by the Senate by a vote of 51 to 9.

Mandate relief has to remain a state priority.  Localities, school districts and local property taxpayers facing tough fiscal challenges still have their hands tied by too many unfunded state mandates,” said O’Mara. “We can start by putting an end to the state’s bad habit of passing the burden of unfunded mandates on to counties, cities, town, villages and school districts.  If the state mandates it, the state should pay for it.  That’s just common sense.”
The legislation (S.1294/A.4861) has bipartisan support in the Legislature and is co-sponsored in the state Assembly by area Assemblymen Chris Friend (R,C-Big Flats) and Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning).  It would ban the imposition of any future state mandates on local governments and school districts that are not accompanied by state funding to localities to pay for delivering the required programs and services.  [Read more in The Corning Leader]

Today’s move to end unfunded state mandates comes as part of a more comprehensive, wide-ranging effort by the Senate Majority Coalition to identify and eliminate hundreds of costly and unnecessary government regulations that strangle business and job growth and drive up municipal and school property taxes. 

“Upstate citizens, counties, school districts, manufacturers, small businesses and industries across the board are overburdened with far too many unnecessary state regulations.  It’s time to get rid of the costly red tape that keeps the upstate economy going nowhere and makes New York’s business climate one of the worst in America,” O’Mara said.

Other legislation approved by the Senate today would:

-- establish a task force to conduct a complete review of state rules, regulations and public authorities, with an eye toward eliminating hundreds of them;

-- give the Senate’s Administrative Regulations and Review Commission more oversight authority in the rulemaking process to ensure state agencies do not overstep their authority in implementing rules and regulations; and

-- require state agencies to provide more information on the costs and benefits of new rules.
O’Mara said that the Senate will also conduct industry-specific public hearings statewide to listen to businesses and local officials to learn which rules, regulations and mandates are the most detrimental and should be eliminated.

O’Mara said that the Senate will also conduct industry-specific public hearings statewide to listen to businesses and local officials to learn which rules, regulations and mandates are the most detrimental and should be eliminated.