THE PATCH: STATE, LOCAL OFFICIALS CALL FOR UNFUNDED MANDATE RELIEF

 

     

    By Plamena Pesheva

    State and local officials will hold a press conference at Yorktown Town Hall Thursday morning when they will call on Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislature to address the “dire need of unfunded mandate relief at the local level.”

    Senator Greg Ball (Patterson – R, C, I) will be joined by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Dutchess County Comptroller Jim Coughlan, Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster, Somers Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy, Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace, Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt, as well as school boards from throughout Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess.

    According to a statement sent by Ball’s office, officials will “address the dire fisca lproblems of struggling municipalities state-wide.”

    “Unfunded mandates are crushing our local governments and school districts all across the state,” Ball said in a statement. “We need unfunded mandate relief and we need it now. From burden some testing requirements, local reporting nightmares, administrative bureaucracy to very specific and costly MS4 requirements there are a myriad of opportunities for Albany to deliver relief.”

    Below is the rest of the statement sent by Greg Ball’s office:

    According to a recent report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, from 2001 to 2011, total federal and state aid combined, grew at an average rate of 2.2 percent annually, slower than the rate of inflation (2.4 percent). From 2006 through 2011, expenses for state government grew by 17.4 percent, while revenues only increased by 15 percent. Additionally, about 24 percent of local governments that have filed with the Comptroller’s Office plan to override the tax cap this year. This is up from about 19percent last year.

    “The 2% tax cap was a good way to start the conversation about rightsizing government. However, local government and school districts are now in dire need of real unfunded mandate relief to sustain the cap without major cuts or filing for bankruptcy,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Step one begins with doing no more harm and immediately ending legislative action on all future unfunded mandates. Step two is to hold an up or down vote on a comprehensive mandate relief package.”

    The press conference will be held on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. at Yorktown Town Hall, 363 Underhill Ave. in Yorktown Heights. (ARTICLE)