Share Your Ideas for Mandate Relief and Medicaid Reform

 

    Making New York a more affordable place to live and work is key to economic recovery that in turn will bring hope, opportunity and prosperity.


    That is why the state Senate worked closely with Gov. Cuomo in 2011 to successfully pass the property tax cap so that destructive double digit property tax increases are stopped.


    We also just enacted a tax cut for 4.4 million hardworking middle income tax payers that will bring even more needed relief.


    These actions are great first steps, and we are seeing positive results.


    Now it’s time to REDUCE property taxes.


    And the best way to accomplish tax relief is by eliminating wasteful and unnecessary government spending.


    In 2011, we cut $10 billion from the state budget without raising taxes, and began reforming expensive Medicaid and welfare programs.


    We also led the way to achieve more mandate relief than ever before in our State’s history by abolishing $127 million in unfunded mandates on school districts and local government.


    The Mandate Relief Council also was established to eliminate costly unfunded mandates that drive up taxes and drive away jobs.


    We have made great progress, but more needs to be done and I need your help!


    Below are some ideas for mandate and Medicaid relief. Please take a few minutes to fill it out by marking the suggestions and ideas that you like. 


    There also is a section below where you can write down your own ideas for reform. 


    Thank you for sharing your ideas and giving your support on these important issues.  Relieving New York’s heavy tax burden will make our state more competitive again and a more affordable place to live and work so we can grow the economy and jobs.

    LIMIT FUTURE UNFUNDED MANDATES. Requires public hearings and a 2/3 supermajority vote of both houses of the State Legislature for the state to impose any new unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts.
    INITIATE STATE TAKEOVER OF MEDICAID FROM COUNTIES. Each county contributes towards the Medicaid health care costs of the poor, disabled and elderly who live within that particular county. Places an immediate freeze on Medicaid rates, and every year, local contributions would be reduced until the total cost of funding Medicaid is paid entirely by the State.
    ESTABLISH REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOLS. Allows two or more school districts to form a Regional High School to increase academic opportunities for students, expand sports and recreational activities, create efficiencies and save taxpayer money.
    INCENTIVIZE COUNTIES TO CONTROL MEDICAID AND WELFARE COSTS. Allowing counties to keep 25 percent of any savings they implement would incentivize them to be more efficient in service delivery.
    USE BIOMETRIC TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE FRAUD. In information technology, biometrics refers to technologies that measure and analyze human body characteristics, such as DNA, fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, voice patterns, facial patterns and hand measurements for authentication purposes. Anti-fraud detection would be used in hospitals, clinics and pharmacies to stop Medicaid fraud, abuse and overutilization of services.
    IMPLEMENT THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT. Reduces or eliminates the excessive and often duplicative reporting requirements on school districts, and establishes a comprehensive, streamlined reporting system.
    INSTITUTE SHARED SERVICES BETWEEN SCHOOL DISTRICTS. Allows schools to share services and consolidate office functions such as auditing in order to cut costs.
    ALLOW SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO SHARE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF. School administrative costs have escalated by 31 percent over the past 10 years. Letting schools share administration would reduce local costs.
    REINSTATE FINGER IMAGING, FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEWS AND ASSET TRESTING FOR MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY.In 1995, New York State implemented these safeguards to reduce fraud, and Welfare rolls went down almost 30 percent immediately. Governor Paterson and the then downstate-controlled State Legislature took away these fraud controls in 2009. These procedures helped verify identity, stopped people from collecting multiple checks, and prevented individuals from hiding resources such as houses, cars and businesses.
    ALLOW LOCAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS TO PROSECUTE FRAUD. Would allow more Medicaid fraud cases to be prosecuted and would let counties keep part of the recoveries.
    REQUIRE DRUG TESTING FOR WELFARE RECIPIENTS. Applicants for public assistance would have to submit to a drug test, and illegal use of a controlled substance would result in the denial of benefits. Provisions do not apply to persons over age 65.
    SEND STATE PAROLE VIOLATORS IMMEDIATELY BACK TO STATE FACILITIES. Many parole violators who should be in State custody instead are sent to county jails, even though counties are not reimbursed by the State for housing these prisoners. These jails could use the space to hold federally-reimbursed prisoners that generate revenues. Millions of dollars would be saved by counties and taxpayers would benefit if these changes were made.