State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced Senate passage of a series of bills she sponsored that will ease Albany’s unfunded mandates on local governments and help bring taxpayers relief.
The measures were part of a package of bills that also included a measure, S.2323, co-sponsored by Senators Ritchie and Joe Griffo, that would ban the state’s practice of enacting new mandates without providing the funds to pay for them, and S.1020, co-sponsored by Senators Ritchie and Rich Funke, which would prohibit new mandates on school districts after their budgets have been approved and set in place.
Among the Senator Ritchie-sponsored mandate relief bills winning Senate approval:
-S.744 would require that parole violators being held in county jails be moved to a state prison within 10 days. Currently county taxpayers are footing the bill to house parole violators leading to crowding and, in many cases, forcing counties to pay for prisoners to be moved to jails in other parts of the state. It's been estimated that the bill would save local counties millions of dollars each year if it becomes law;
-S.869 would require prompt payment to counties for expenses like Medicaid, or pay interest for the overdue amounts. Counties frequently are scrambling to balance their own budgets while the state delays large payments for services it requires;
-S.3307 would stop the state’s practice of “sweeping” funds intended to help local governments become more efficient through better record management, and using them to balance its own budget;
-S.1908 would increase the amount that counties can keep from processing DMV registrations and other transactions, like issuing photo IDs;
-S.2101 would allow counties to keep a share of registration and other fees collected through the DMV’s online system.
“County governments struggle to balance their budgets without raising taxes, while Albany imposes mandates that drive up costs without providing any relief,” Senator Ritchie said. “These bills, and other passed today to provide real mandate relief to local governments and school districts, put taxpayers first, improve efficiency and reduce the cost of government.”
These measures were sent to the Assembly.