State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing that the State Senate has passed two bills that would gradually eliminate the most expensive Albany mandate from the backs of state taxpayers by requiring the state to take over all costs related to its Medicaid program—which is the most costly in the nation. Senator Ritchie has sponsored a similar bill since 2013.
“This Medicaid mandate has burdened our local governments and our hard working taxpayers for far too long. These measures are a major step in reducing this crippling mandate, and putting money back in the pockets of the people and small businesses that can make our state the economic force it should be,” Senator Ritchie said.
Since the enactment of the Medicaid program in 1965, New York State counties have been required to share in its cost. However, annual increases for counties have since been capped.
These bills are part of a package that also includes the elimination of a key tax on residential and business utility bills and would also cap and cut property taxes for seniors.
The first bill (S8411), reduces the local Medicaid contribution by 20 percent a year over five years for all counties outside New York City. The counties must then enact dollar-for-dollar reductions in property taxes, resulting in direct taxpayer savings of up to $451 million in the first year alone, and $2.3 billion when fully effective.
In addition, the second bill (S8412), reduces counties’ contributions by 10 percent a year over 10 years and again requires that $2.3 billion in cumulative savings to be returned dollar-for-dollar back to property taxpayers.
The bills have been sent to the Assembly.