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News stories tagged with "mandate-relief"

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Karen DeWitt
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Budget watchdog group: Cuomo pension plan a "gimmick"

State lawmakers return to Albany later this week, and have just over three weeks to meet a self-imposed deadline to finish the state budget. Negotiations on a spending plan come amid a growing push back to a key proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help local governments meet pension payments.  Go to full article
Bookkeeping. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/genbug/">Laura Gilmore</a> CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Bookkeeping. Photo: Laura Gilmore CC some rights reserved

Budget offers a plan for "pension bubble"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget address was a wonky speech, full of numbers from both sides of the balance sheet.

Local governments were among those parsing out the results. Counties have struggled in the recession years, with falling or flat revenue, loss of state aid, a state cap on property tax increases, and rising costs of mandated services.

The governor had a partial answer for them yesterday -- an unconventional way to help localities with the high costs of state pensions.  Go to full article
A slide from Governor Cuomo's State of the State presentation.
A slide from Governor Cuomo's State of the State presentation.

Cuomo proposes his "most ambitious agenda"

Gov. Cuomo laid out a challenging year for New York in his State of the State speech Wednesday.

The bullet points are many and varied, from raising the minimum wage, to money for the "clean economy," a 10-point Women's Equality Act, "destination resort casinos", a regional tourism competition, an Adirondack whitewater competition, a tough assault weapons ban, incentives for teachers and for schools to provide more time in the classroom.

Then there was emergency preparedness, worker's comp, fairness in the justice system, housing, climate change.  Go to full article
County administrator Karen St. Hilaire says she's not pleased with St. Lawrence County's budget numbers. Photo: Julie Grant
County administrator Karen St. Hilaire says she's not pleased with St. Lawrence County's budget numbers. Photo: Julie Grant

St. Lawrence County to vote on budget tonight

(UPDATE: The St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators approved a $235-million dollar budget Monday night, over-riding the state tax cap, and raising property taxes by more than 14-percent.)

The 57 counties outside New York City face a collective budget gap estimated at $130 million as they write their budgets for the fiscal year that starts in January.
That's according to a report this fall from the New York State Association of Counties.

NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario says counties are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, they pay for dozens of mandated services, from Medicaid to child welfare, which cost more every year.

On the other hand, they now face a new state cap on property tax increases.
Acquario told North Country Public Radio that leaves counties essentially "governing by triage."

St. Lawrence County legislators plan a public hearing tonight on the 2013 budget. County administrator Karen St. Hilaire says the $250 million spending plan contains a 13.5 percent tax increase.  Go to full article
I think you'll see closure of schools. I think you'll see mergers of schools.

Many NY schools expect to use up savings in next 18 months

A new survey shows that many New York school districts are within a year and a half of exhausting their fund balances. School business leaders say that could lead to district consolidationsor closures. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article
Essex County board of supervisors head Randy Douglas
Essex County board of supervisors head Randy Douglas

Douglas: county stretched thinner than ever

Mandate relief--especially on Medicaid costs--was at the forefront of many county leaders' minds at the annual meeting this week of the New York State Association of Counties.

In his budget address January 17th, Governor Cuomo laid out a plan for the state to take over increases in Medicaid costs over the next few years--but some county leaders say that's not enough.  Go to full article

Counties want state takeover of Medicaid costs

Counties across New York state are supporting legislation that would phase out the local share of Medicaid payments, but officials doubt the bills will ever become law.

Medicaid, a state program for New Yorkers who can't afford medical care, is among the biggest strains on county budgets, especially as lawmakers struggle to present budgets that meet the state's new 2 percent cap on property tax growth.

The Senate and Assembly introduced bills earlier this fall that would shift Medicaid costs from the county level to the state. Chris Morris reports.  Go to full article

What's ahead for the new mix in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is wasting no time. From a wage freeze for public employees, to mandate relief and a property tax cap, he's moved on many of key campaign themes in just his first week in office.

He's also got a new/old legislature to work with. A Republican majority in the state Senate, but a familiar and powerful face at the head of the Assembly: Speaker Sheldon Silver. Susan Arbetter, host of WCNY's capitol Pressroom, is one of the Albany-based journalists who's watching all this closely. Martha Foley talked with her about the changing dynamic.  Go to full article
Democratic Senator Darrel Aubertine
Democratic Senator Darrel Aubertine

48th Senate race: Aubertine wants tax & mandate relief

Democratic Senator Darrel Aubertine and Republican David Renzi clashed in their final debate last night in Watertown. Aubertine is trying to protect his Senate seat just eight months after he won it in last winter's special election. Aubertine cites funding for capital projects at SUNY Canton and SUNY Oswego, and delaying the closure of Lee Memorial hospital in Fulton, as his biggest accomplishments during his brief Senate tenure. Aubertine's a former dairy farmer from Cape Vincent. He served three terms as the Assemblyman along the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. He told David Sommerstein his biggest priority is to cut down the state's record budget deficit while reducing property taxes.  Go to full article

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