Weekly Wire Week Ending April 29, 2016
Mayday for Mandate Relief, Indigent Legal Defense, and more.
Registration Open: 50th Annual County Finance School
May 18-20, 2016 at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel
Each May, NYSAC partners with the Office of the State Comptroller and the New York State County Treasurers and Finance Officers Association to present the Annual County Finance School. County Finance School offers a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of county-specific financial regulations, procedures, challenges, and solutions.
County Finance School features a number of workshops that are CPE-accredited by the Office of the State Comptroller and the New York State Department of Education for CPAs.
NYSAC Launches 2016 Mayday for Mandate Relief Campaign
"Mayday" is an international call for help, derived from the French venez m'aider, meaning "come help me." Today, NYSAC launched the 2016 "Mayday for Mandate Relief" campaign to call on New York State to provide much-needed mandate relief for counties and local governments.
In 2015, nine state mandates consumed 99 percent of the property taxes levied by counties across the state, outside of New York City. This year's state budget raised district attorney salaries that must be paid by counties with no state reimbursement. Additionally, new state-imposed indigent legal defense requirements will significantly impact eligibility for those in need of criminal defense counsel. Again, the state is mandating local action without providing resources to offset costs.
Counties are encouraged to localize the impact that state mandates have on county budgets, and send a message to state representatives that more needs to be done to enact mandate reforms that relieve local property taxpayers. For supporting materials, visit
Back in Session
State lawmakers will re-convene in Albany on Tuesday, May 3 after Spring Break. With a total of 21 days left of the 2016 Legislative Session the remaining weeks will be a busy time in Albany.
NYSAC continues to advocate for counties to ensure new programs place no additional financial burdens on county property taxpayers.
During these 21 remaining Legislative days NYSAC's key priorities include:
Governor Launches Search for a new State Police Superintendent
On Thursday, April 28 the Governor announced the members of the search committee for the next Superintendent of the New York State Police. The committee will be reviewing and recommending candidates to the Governor in the coming weeks.
The search committee includes:
NY and NJ to Share Opioid Prescribing Data
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State and New Jersey have agreed to share prescribing data for opioids and other controlled dangerous substances in an effort to combat the growing prescription drug abuse epidemic.
The new program allows doctors in both states to enter a patient name into the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy PMP InterConnect hub database and see every prescription the patient has filled for opioids or other controlled dangerous substances. This will help identify patients who may be doctor shopping or stockpiling drugs.
For more information see Governor Cuomo's press release.
Time Warner Cable/ Charter Merger
On Monday, April 25, Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) won approval from the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler for its $55.1 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) and related $10.4 billion purchase of Bright House Networks LLC. The deal is still awaiting approval from the other four FCC commissioners, who are expected to vote in favor of Chairman Wheeler's recommendations this week, and California regulators.
Once the Merger is fully approved by the FCC Commission and California it will need approval from the New York State Public Service Commission.
Columbia County Bridge Projected Selected as 2015 Project of the Year
Columbia County Director of Engineering Dean Knox has been honored by the American Public Works Association (APWA) for the design, construction, safety improvements and communication relations in the construction of the Hollowville Creek Bridge Replacement Project. The project was completed on time, under budget and received the APWA's 2015 Project of the Year for structures under $5 million. Mr. Knox was also commended by the Columbia County Board of Supervisors with a Certificate of Recognition at the April 13th meeting of the Board.
|Training & Funding Opportunities
Water Infrastructure Grants & Upcoming Webinar!
The Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) announced that with the enacted state budget providing an additional $100 million this year in grants, it can now broaden eligibility for wastewater projects and provide a total of $175 million in grants through Round 2 of the NYS Water Grants program. In addition, the maximum grant amount for drinking water projects has been increased from $2 million to $3 million or 60% of eligible projects costs, whichever is less.
To accommodate this expansion, the Round 2 application deadline has been extended from April 15, 2016 to June 20, 2016, with applications to be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. EFC will be expediting evaluation of the applications to ensure that grants may be awarded shortly thereafter. Applications are available at www.efc.ny.gov/NYSWaterGrants.
EFC will host an informational webinar on May 11, 2016 at 11 AM to provide an overview of the broadened program and grant application process. To register, click here.
Municipalities with questions are encouraged to e-mail NYSWaterGrants@efc.ny.gov or call EFC at 518-402-6924.
Upcoming Webinar on Solar Land Leasing and Municipal Best Practices
As New York continues to support investment in clean energy in the state and in response to the Public Service Commission's Community Shared Solar and Commercial Solar Programs, new opportunities to lease, own and invest in solar power are emerging. For many land owners, offers from solar developers interested in accessing tracts of land have raised questions about what to take into account when considering a solar lease. This webinar aims to provide data-driven best practice recommendations and address frequently asked questions from land owners seeking to enter into solar leasing contracts, as well questions from municipalities on the growth of solar, land use, and important local policies.
The NY Energy Democracy Alliance and the NY Solar Energy Industries Association are partnering to present the webinar on May 11, 2016 at 10:00am.
To Register please use this link!
Inquiries should be directed to Adam Flint, CoShare Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
US Communities Launches New Technology Contract Options
Last week, the U.S. Communities collaborative purchasing program, which is supported by NYSAC, the New York Conference of Mayors, and the NYS School Boards Association, launched new contracts for technology products, services, and solutions.
Please find linked here an announcement about the technology vendors and solutions available through US Communities,
US Communities will host upcoming webinars with additional information, scheduled for Tuesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 19. For more information and to register, visit http://www.uscommunities.org/news-events/webinars/?q=e-tech16state.
Community Choice Aggregation Webinar
Local governments across New York State are now encouraged by the Public Service Commission to create energy aggregation programs for residential and other customers. The PSC hopes Community Choice Aggregation programs will help bring better supply pricing and also empower communities to actively plan and develop their energy future through the Commission's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) priorities.
Last week New York became the seventh state to allow Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), a program by which municipalities aggregate local consumers and go to bid for energy supply. Residential and small commercial accounts are included automatically, unless the customer "opts out". Other consumers can join if they want to by "opting in."
Please join us for an upcoming informational webinar presented by MEGA, the Municipal Electric & Gas Alliance on Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) on Thursday, May 12th at noon.