Monthly Archives: July 2012

SIGN THE MANDATE RELIEF PETITION – Turn the trickle into a flood. BREAKING NEWS: today, April 13, the NYSSBA, NEW YORK STATE SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION became signer #114

Friday the 13th is a lucky day for all NYS residents oppressed by the NYS Legislature's unfunded mandates.  Why?   Because the NYS School Boards Assocation (“NYSSBA”), a leading and influential voice for mandate

reform in this state, has signed on to the Mandate Relief petition.   Here is NYSSBA's description of itself on its own website ,  “The New York State School Boards Association serves as the statewide voice of more than 700 boards of education. The collective influence of some 5,000 school board members, who constitute half the elected officials in the state, enables the Association to work toward the benefit of the elementary and secondary public school system in New York State. School board members are the educational leaders of their communities; they determine policies that govern the operation of their local public school system. ”

To read and sign the petition: 


Or follow this link directly to the signature page:

Sign the petition

Please spread the word to family members, friends, neighbors, your local school boards, your local town boards, candidates for school board in this May's school board elections, your county legislators, your NYS Senator, your NYS Assemblyman, and candidates for those offices in next November's elections.

To find your NYS Senator and NYS Assemblyman, the NY Association of Counties will help you here:  Contact Your Legislators


PUBLIC FORUM: Unfunded State Mandates and Mandate Relief

The Rye, Rye Brook, & Port Chester League of Women Voters is sponsoring a Forum about unfunded state mandates and mandate relief to consider questions such as what is an unfunded mandate and its impacts on counties, local communities, education

and taxpayers? What is Albany doing about unfunded mandates and is relief in sight? Experts will present various perspectives on Albany's unfunded mandates and their effects on county, municipal and school district budgets. The forum will provide an understanding of the issues and exchange of ideas for potential legislative relief and regulatory reform. The event will occur Thursday, April 26, 7:30 PM in the Rye Middle School Multi-Purpose Room, 3 Parsons Street, Rye, NY.


62 School Superintendents Unite Against NYS Legislature for Relief from Excessive State Spending

     Last December, 62 Superintendents of school districts in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess counties presented proposals to 13 New York State legislators and representatives for three other legislators.   The Superintendents cont

end that the costs of 150 state mandates — many out of date or unnecessary — now account for close to 20 percent of a school district's budget.   See article here.

 3 cheers for Superintendents pointing to the NYS Legislature as the source of the excessive mandated spending causing such huge problems for counties, school districts, and towns.    The NYS Legislature creates a false impression for voters. Here's how it works. 

 Local budgets of counties, schools, towns include spending by those local goverments, but also include mandated state spending inserted in local budgets by the Legislature.   Mandates are an unlimited state credit card, with the bill being sent to local governments without their prior consent.  Mandates are state spending which counties, schools, towns, cannot limit, only the Legislature can do that.   The property tax cap doesn't help, because it limits total spending in a local budget, not the individual  spending items making up the total.    

Since local governments have no legal authority to stop or limit the escalating NYS spending mandates in their budgets, but must limit total spending to comply with the tax cap, their only choice is to cut their own local spending.   So while the property tax cap helps limit  property taxes overall, it's also a  Legislature squeeze-play of local government.   The Legislature forces local spending reductions to make room for ever-escalating state spending.   It's saying to schools, counties, towns, “We order you to cut your local spending in your budgets, so that our state spending can be a bigger part of your budget.  You cut your local spending, but we won't cut our spending in your local budgets.  We'll cap the total grocery bill, but eat all the steak and potatoes we want, while you cut back to bread and water, to keep the total grocery bill under the allowed limit.” 

     Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino accurately described the NYS Legislature as addicted to spending.  The Legislature tries to create the opposite impression, “We're on the wagon.   We've changed our over-spending ways.  We've limited our spending (but only in the NYS budget) and capped property taxes.  We've emptied our liquor cabinet.”  But the Legislature is still addicted.  It drinks as much as it wants (state spending mandates in local budgets escalate despite the tax cap which only limits local spending).  It hides its liquor (spending) in the neighbor's liquor cabinet (county, school, town budgets) instead of putting it in the state budget.   And it obscures how much it is drinking (total, statewide mandated spending) by dividing and dispersing it among local budgets throughout NYS.   For example, if the Legislature kept the full cost of Medicaid in the state budget, instead of sending a big chunk of it to counties, the total cost of that policy would be more transparent to voters, and the Legislature would be more motivated to limit the cost, since it would have to pay the full cost out of state revenues instead of local property taxes.



Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says in his 5/30/12 Ask-Astorino Tele-Town Hall (skip to minute 7:15) , “We’ve got to basically all band together and make sure that we speak with one voice to Albany…And there’s something…I  think people should understand… you should go on online and get behind this movement.  It’s a website called …a grassroots organization that has been popping up around the county.  And it is an online petition that you can sign and it is demanding of the Governor and the State legislature to pass meaningful mandate relief to help ease the burden on all of our taxpayers and get local control as opposed to Albany deciding what we have to do.”

WSJ Weighs In on Teachers' Pay


The WSJ takes a tip from the world of diving and applies    Degree of Difficulty to education.   It corrects Bure

au of Labor statistics in pension projections and offers a different perspective on job security.



Voters interested in saving New York and pursuing Mandate Relief should know about The Committee to Save New York, an alliance of business interests which supports the property tax cap and

mandate relief. According to YNN, last year the Committee to Save New York spent about $12 million to support Gov. Cuomo's financial reform efforts. It will do the same this year. Heather Bricetti is a member of the Committee's advisory board and President and CEO of the Business Council of New York. She is interviewed here on YNN and discusses Gov. Cuomo's pension proposal and the Committee's interest in mandate relief and financial reform. Voters should be know that there is substantial financial support in NYS for mandate relief.


Siena Poll: Union Voters Disagreed with their leadership and supported Cuomo's new pension tier proposal.

Union leadership criticized Gov. Cuomo's proposal for a new pension tier. And the NYS Legislature watered his proposal down before enacting it. But surprise, surprise – union members disagreed with their leadership and the Legislature. buy viagra cheap online

f=””>A Feb. 2012 Siena Poll revealed:

“More than two-thirds of voters – including a majority of voters from union households – support the Governor‟s proposal to create a new pension tier for future government employees, requiring them to make larger contributions to their retirement plans and saving employers money. It is overwhelmingly supported by voters from every party and region…”