O'Mara joins call for elimination of state regulations, mandates

Thomas F. O'Mara

June 10, 2013


Elmira, N.Y., June 10—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today joined his colleagues in the Senate Majority Coalition to call for one of the state’s largest-ever regulatory reform efforts.

“Let’s stay focused on the most important job at hand, and that’s turning around the upstate economy,” said O’Mara.  “We know that we need to cut taxes, and we’re working on that.  We also know that upstate citizens, counties, school districts, manufacturers, small businesses and industries across the board are overburdened with far too many unnecessary state regulations and unfunded mandates.  It’s time to get rid of the costly red tape that keeps the upstate economy going nowhere and makes New York’s businesses climate one of the worst in America.”

The Senate Majority Coalition yesterday announced its intention to identify and eliminate hundreds of costly and unnecessary government regulations that strangle business and job growth and drive up municipal and school property taxes.  

To kick off its comprehensive regulatory reform initiative, the Senate today plans to act on numerous pieces of legislation that have already been introduced in the Legislature to accomplish key regulatory reform and mandate relief actions, including legislation O’Mara is co-sponsoring to end the practice of unfunded state mandates on local governments and school districts.  That legislation (S.1294/A.4861), which has bipartisan sponsorship in the Legislature, would ban the imposition of any future state mandates on local governments and school districts that are not accompanied by state funding to localities to pay for delivering the required programs and services.

“The state enacted the local property tax cap with a promise to localities and school districts to roll back the heavy burden of unfunded state mandates.  We still have a lot of work to do to lift that existing burden on local governments and local property taxpayers,” said O’Mara.  “But we should also immediately put an end to any future unfunded state mandates.  This legislation proposes a common sense step that says the state will no longer pass the buck to counties, cities, town, villages or school districts.  If the state mandates a program or a service, the state should pay for it.”

Other measures being acted on today include legislation to:

-- establish a task force to conduct a complete review of the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) and regulatory review process;

-- give the Senate’s Administrative Regulations and Review Commission more oversight authority in the rulemaking process to ensure state agencies do not overstep their authority in implementing rules and regulations; and

-- require state agencies to provide more information on the costs and benefits of new rules.

O’Mara said that the Senate will also conduct industry-specific public hearings statewide to listen to businesses and local officials to learn which rules, regulations and mandates are the most detrimental and should be eliminated.