Other Mandate Relief Ideas
General Mandate Reform:
1. Cap all existing State mandates as of April 1, 2011, particularly the 9 State mandates that consume 90 percent of the property tax levy statewide.
2. No new unfunded mandates.
3. Give counties permanent authority to determine a local sales tax rate up to a total of 4.5 percent.
4. Create a “Consolidated Balance Sheet” at the State level as a way to look at the total cost of providing services to the public—Federal, State and local.
5. Force elimination of town/city collection and assessment. This should be a county responsibility and function.
6. Repeal Wicks Law in its entirety. It’s an anachronism.
7. Counties should be held to actual regional prevailing wages in their communities.
8. Eliminate the requirement to file all county appointments with the Governor’s Office.
9. Eliminate the $25 mortgage tax exemption.
10. Electronic recording of land records—including deeds and mortgages—should be allowed to be submitted to County Clerks as “digitized paper documents” and “electronic records.”
11. Amend requirement for legal notices to be printed in newspapers and allow municipalities to decide on their own media methodology.
12. Eliminate the mandate requiring counties to make school districts whole for delinquent property taxes. There is no cost to the State; it will lower county property tax levy by hundreds of millions of dollars.
13. Eliminate the Medicare Part B reimbursement as required in Civil Service Law.
1. Eliminate community college charge-backs for students currently enrolled in high school.
2. Require students to pay community college fees if he/she fails to achieve passing grade.
1. Counties should have more control over Board of Elections Commissioners and their staff.
2. NY Election Law 3-400 (3)a sets the number of voters per election district at no more than 1150. We no longer need that limit because the new machines can handle multitudes of more voters.
3. The county Boards of Election should be able to set the number of voters per Election District, allowing them to cut back on an already dwindling pool of Election Inspectors that must be employed.
Health & Social Services:
1. Allow health insurance consortiums to be established between municipalities, counties, and private sector entities.
2. Stop Department of Health planned implementation of new lead poisoning prevention regulations.
3. OCFS/DSS: Provide for the complete and comprehensive takeover of all local Social Service District operations and costs by NYS.
4. If State funding or other reimbursement does not keep pace with all costs for mandated public health expenditures, then the mandates must be removed and counties must be given the ability to limit the amount of services.
Justice & Corrections:
1. Repeal the drug dealer protection act of 2009 which placed tremendous unfunded burdens on counties to defend newly created rights to “diversion” and sealing of predicate felony convictions.
2. Amend Civil Service Law to allow county sheriffs to hire State Troopers without a 211 waiver.
3. Give counties greater authority to determine housing of inmates in county jails.
4. Taylor Law and ability to pay must be reformed to fit 21st century reality and public sector fiscal constraints for jail staffing requirements. Allow flexibility based on inmate population mix and safety performance.
5. Allow county jails to refuse a parole violator unless for a short-term emergency.
6. Allow a judge to dispense with the need for a personal court appearance by a defendant when a video teleconference is deemed appropriate.
7. Allow jails to house men and women receiving care or treatment in a facility-operated infirmary, provided that proper separation is maintained. This will eliminate the requirement for duplicative facilities.
8. Create regional revocation centers that can house parole violators and state ready inmates in state prisons slated for closure.
1. Allow counties to use best value/low price in procuring services/goods.
2. Modernize procurement: any municipality can buy off any federal/state/municipal contract.
3. Allow for reverse auctions.
4. Increase procurement bidding thresholds for goods and services from public works contracts from $35,000 to $100,000 and purchasing contracts from $20,000 to $50,000.
1. Eliminate the unfunded mandate which prohibits local governments from using their own employees, equipment and materials on repairing road and bridge projects exceeding $100,000 in value.
2. Streamline Right of Way acquisition process to allow municipalities to purchase small parcels (less than 1 acre) using local methodology when State or Federal funding is involved.
3. Storm Water Regulation—exempt linear road projects.
4. Streamline DOT’s Design Development Process for federal aid projects.
5. Prevailing wage/Wicks Law—set minimum threshold to use when prevailing wage are necessary.
6. Allow municipalities to distribute fuel to other municipalities and not-for-profits without subjecting them to sales tax.