Providing Relief from State Mandates

New York State imposes many rules, programs and reporting requirements that add costs to local governments and school districts and ultimately increase our property taxes. I support efforts to provide relief from costly state mandates and provide additional financial assistance to local governments.

One such initiative would be for the state to assume the county share of Medicaid. Supporting infrastructure assistance to local governments in the form of increased aid to repair local roads and water infrastructure is another top priority.

The clean water grant program that I helped initiate will provide $425 million in direct grants to local governments to cover costs that would have been funded through local property taxes. Without this state assistance, many of these needed sewer and water quality projects, which are often required by federal and state regulation, would be cost prohibitive to municipalities and local taxpayers.

The Smart Schools Bond Act, which I supported and was approved by the voters, will provide $2 billion in grants to fund technology purchases for school districts throughout the state. Westchester school districts will receive over $61 million in grants from this program.

I also support increased state responsibility for school district special education costs to limit the now open-ended school district responsibility for these costs.

While some mandate relief measures have been signed into law in recent years, we need additional changes to lower the burden on property taxpayers.