On June 11, 2012, BEST4NY held a public forum and information meeting in Hastings-on-Hudson entitled “HOW STATE MANDATES AFFECT CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS AND DRIVE UP THE COST OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN NYS.” The following panelists discussed various aspects of the NYS Legislature’s failure to grant meaningful mandate relief:
Paul Feiner – Supervisor, Town of Greenburgh
Eileen Baecher – President, Board of Education Hastings-on-Hudson School District
Niki Armacost-Trustee, Hastings-On-Hudson
Francis Frobel, Hastings-on-Hudson Village Manager
Vincent Toomey– Attorney, Labor & Employment Law
“Last year I had to do something for the first time that I had nightmares about, I had to lay people off,” said Supervisor Feiner. “Mandates are forcing government to destroy people’s lives.”
Press coverage is HERE
County, school, and municipal elected officials throughout NYS desperately need mandate relief. They are drowning in the Legislature’s red ink and are forced to lay off workers and cut local programs and services in order to pay for NYS’s excessive and unsustainable spending. The Legislature’s no mandate relief policy is a policy of spoiling the favored child (mandated spending) and starving the orphan (local spending). Local county, school, and town budgets have two parts – local spending and state mandated spending. By imposing the tax cax without mandate relief, the Legislature forces local government to destroy local people’s lives – local property taxes are applied to the Legislature’s unsustainable and excessive state spending.”
Because the Legislature’s mandated spending is dispersed and hidden in county, school, and town budgets, voters and community members typically do not realize the extent of the problem and the Legislature’s responsibility for it. Local officials are caught in the middle. BEST4NY recommends that voters and local elected officials through NYS organize mandate relief forums and information meetings in their own communities to inform their neighbors and mobilize public support. Voters need to create a new mandate relief majority in the NYS Legislature – one Senator and one Assemblyman at a time – either by pressuring incumbents to change their positions or by electing new legislators.
Incumbent Senators and Assemblymen and candidates can use BEST4NY’s Mandate Relief petition as a vehicle to inform the public and to give legislators a MANDATE FOR MANDATE RELIEF by encouraging voters to sign the petition. Supervisor Feiner and Board President Baecher and many other elected officials have signed.
Please contact us if you would like assistance in organizing your own Mandate Relief forum.