For Immediate Release: December 3, 2013
Media Contact: Jonathan Heppner | 845.463.0840 | firstname.lastname@example.org
SENATOR TERRY GIPSON ANNOUNCES NEW LEGISLATION TO BRING UNFUNDED MANDATE RELIEF TO COUNTIES
Highlights impact of mandate relief on investments in infrastructure and tax relief.
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – New York State Senator Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) announced two new pieces of legislation today that would bring counties millions of dollars in mandate relief. Senator Gipson has introduced the County Payment Relief Act (CPR), S.5996, which would provide counties with funding based on population to pay for existing unfunded mandates. He has also introduced legislation, S.6001, which would provide funding for state mandated early intervention services. Additionally, Senator Gipson announced that 10 towns and villages, and Dutchess County, have passed resolutions in support of his constitutional amendment, S.5126, prohibiting New York State from passing down future unfunded mandates.
“Most unfunded mandates are good ideas and important programs. However, New York State needs to take responsibility for funding these programs -- something the status-quo in Albany has failed to do for decades,” said Senator Gipson. “The goal of delivering mandate relief is to provide counties a greater ability to use their revenue to invest in infrastructure, public services and property tax relief.”
The County Payment Relief Act (CPR), S.5996, provides state aid to counties to pay for existing unfunded mandates. Each county (outside of NYC) will receive $20 per resident. The legislation requires that funding must be used to alleviate the stress placed on county budgets directly by unfunded mandates. In the 41st Senate District, Dutchess County, with a population of approximately 300,000, would receive $6 million. Putnam County, with population of approximately 100,000, would receive $2 million.
The second bill, S.6001, would create a grant pool of $400 million in which counties (outside of NYC) would be eligible to apply for grants to help pay for their state mandated Early Intervention Programs. The New York State Early Intervention Program (EIP) is an important program that offers a variety of therapeutic and support services to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. If New York State was to completely cover the cost of Dutchess County’s early intervention programs, it could save the county approximately $9 million dollars.
“County and local officials across New York State have echoed the same concerns about unfunded mandates. It’s time for the entrenched powers in Albany to listen. As a new voice for Dutchess and Puntam Counties, I’m committed to working with municipalities in my district to achieve greater fiscal stability through smart, financially responsible reforms that move our local and state economy forward.”
Senator Gipson’s legislation, S.5126, that would amend the New York State Constitution prohibiting the state from imposing new unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts, has received resolutions in support by the Town of Philipstown, Town of Kent, Town of Fishkill, Town of Poughkeepsie, Town of Red Hook, Village of Cold Spring, Town of East Fishkill, Town of North East, Town of Dover, Village of Wappingers Falls and Dutchess County.
The bill to end unfunded mandates would allow local governments to choose whether a mandate will be implemented in their municipality, and require the state to fund mandates that are unreasonably costly. This will ensure that our local municipalities are protected from financially unsound directives, allowing local governments to continue to serve their constituents in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Since introducing this legislation, Senator Gipson has launched a Local Governments Tour, in which he has met with local governments to inform them of his efforts and to discuss local issues. Assemblyman Kieran Lalor (R,C,I-Fishkill) has introduced the same-as legislation in the State Assembly.