NYSAC Commends One House Legislative Budget Actions
Counties urge State Lawmakers to Preserve Restorations.
The New York State Association of Counties applauds the New York State Senate and Assembly for introducing one-house budget language that rejected several new unfunded mandates and cost shifts proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2019-20 Executive State Budget proposal.
The Assembly budget proposal restores the AIM funding cut proposed by the Governor and does not use county sales tax revenues to cover those costs. The Assembly also provides $7 million for early voting and $27 million for electronic polling books and ballot scan devices; it provides $65 million in Winter Storm Recovery Funds for local roads and bridges and increases state aid for Community College students.
"It is clear that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the members of the Assembly recognize the impact the budget proposal would have on counties, and we appreciate the actions they took in their one house budget bills," said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.
The Senate, likewise, restored some of the Governor's cuts to counties and funded or eliminated new mandates. The Senate restores the Governor's proposed AIM cuts with State funding, provides $10 million for early voting, increases CHIPs by $150 million and adds $65 million in one-time weatherization funds, and includes a needed $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act.
"We commend the Senate Majority for responding to county concerns in their one-house budget priorities. The restoration of $60 million in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) with State funding protects the integrity of this state program without diverting local taxpayer dollars," said Acquario. "Furthermore, the addition of $150 million to the base CHIPS funding and $65 million for Extreme Winter Recovery will help counties maintain and improve local infrastructure."
Now that both houses of the State Legislature have adopted their respective budget priorities, the Assembly Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, and Governor will be meeting to negotiate the differences between their respective budget priorities. At the same time, the Legislature is expected to appoint joint conference committees charged with determining how any additional funding should be spent by committee area, such as health, education, local government, etc.
"Our members thank the leaders and members of the Assembly and Senate conferences for understanding the county perspective, and for seeking better solutions to the common problems we face," said NYSAC President Charles H. Nesbitt, Jr. "Now we urge State lawmakers from across New York to preserve these restorations and fight for other local concerns as they negotiate the final 2019-20 State Budget."