Weekly Wire Week Ending May 27, 2016
State Update, Sales Tax, DA Salaries, Indigent Defense, Opioid Epidemic, more
Natural Resources in Our Counties: Spring/Summer 2016 NYSAC News
The current issue of NYSAC News magazine will arrive in mailboxes this week, and is now available online. The issue, which focuses on counties' relationship to natural resources, is now available in online.
This issue features articles from counties across the state as well as in-depth articles on the issues facing New York's counties.
Albany Update: Back in Session
State lawmakers will reconvene in Albany on Wednesday, June1 for the final few weeks of session. With a total of 9 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 remaining Legislative days NYSAC's key priorities include:
Historically, when the State passed laws requiring counties to increase DA salaries, they have included State Budget funding to reimburse this local cost. Unfortunately, the recently enacted state budget does not cover the latest salary increase.
State lawmakers this week will consider legislation (S7408A, Young/A10152A, Gunther) that would reimburse counties for the DA salary increase in 2016 and cover any related state mandated increase going forward.
Indigent Defense Expansion and State Fiscal Takeover One Step Closer to Reality
On May 23, Senator DeFrancisco amended bill S.6341B, a top priority for NYSAC regarding indigent defense, making it a "same as" with Assemblymember Fahy's A.6202C. This important step means counties are closer than ever to achieving an improved, uniform statewide indigent defense system and will avoid unnecessary and costly litigation against counties for an unequal justice system.
S.6341C DeFrancisco/A.6202B Fahy Summary:This bill would require the State to reimburse counties for the costs of providing indigent defense services, including expanded services. The measure allows for an incremental state fiscal takeover over a seven year period and provides 100% annual state fiscal coverage thereafter. This bill also expands indigent defense services in all counties requiring first arraignment counsel coverage and case caps for indigent defense providers.
9-1-1 Surcharge measure provides more revenue to emergency communication systems
NYSAC has been advocating for lowering the Public Safety Surcharge, from $1.20 to $1.00 and applying it to all devices capable of connecting to the 9-1-1 system. The law should also extend to the current local surcharge authority to prepaid devices. The current hardware and software in many local 9-1-1 systems are reaching the end of their useful life and must be upgraded and/or replaced. In addition, Federal standards are requiring states to build Next Generation 9-1-1 systems that have the capability to receive information from a variety of electronic devices in various forms including text messages and images. The cost of fully transitioning to Next Generation 9-1-1 could easily exceed $10 billion over the coming years and the current revenue is not adequate for making these upgrades.
We encourage you to call your State Senator(s) and Assemblymember(s) to express your support of A10178 McDonald, strengthening our emergency communication network Statewide.
Lawmakers pass tampon tax exemption bill
On Monday, May 15 the Assembly passed A7557A Rosenthal/S7838 Serino to eliminate the sales tax on feminine hygiene products. On Wednesday, May 25, the Senate followed suit, the bill passed unanimously in both houses. The bill, which will take effect on the first day of the next sales tax quarterly period, will exempt tampons, sanitary napkins, panty liners and other related items from state sales tax.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he plans to sign the legislation into law.
Upcoming Public Hearings on Proposed Solid Waste Management Facilities (Part 360) Regulations
This proposed rulemaking is a comprehensive revision to existing regulations. The last comprehensive revisions to the regulations governing solid waste management in New York State occurred in 1993.
Proposed regulations pertain to Material Recovery Facilities, Combustion, Thermal Treatment, Transfer, and Collection Facilities, Landfills, Waste Transporters, Biohazard Waste Management Facilities, Local Solid Waste Management Planning and State Assistance Projects. Public hearings regarding the proposed regulations and DGEIS will be held during the public comment period at the following times and locations, and written comments on these draft regulations will be accepted until July 15, 2016.
June 2, 2016, 1:00 PM: Suffolk County Water Authority Education Center, 260 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge, NY 11788
June 6, 2016, 1:00 PM: NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233
June 7, 2016, 1:00 PM: RIT Inn and Conference Center, Henrietta Ballroom, 5257 West Henrietta Rd., Rochester, NY 14467
June 9, 2016, 1:00 PM: NYSDEC Region 2 Office, 1 Hunter's Point Plaza, 47-40 21st Street, Long Island City, NY 11101
For additional information please see the DEC website here.
Sales Tax Collections May Show Improvement in the Second Quarter
If national economic trends are replicated in New York then we may be seeing a better economic performance in the second quarter than we did in the first. National economic data showed relatively slow GDP growth in the first quarter, clocking in at about a 0.8 percent annual rate. The lower than expected economic output in the first quarter showed up in county sales tax collections with 30 counties collecting less in the first quarter of 2016 than last year. However, nationally, consumer spending increased at the highest monthly rate in more than six years in April led by strong sales of durable goods including automobiles. The sale of non-durable goods, including items like food and clothing, also grew at a healthy pace. The strong growth in April is consistent with a recent increase in the consumer sentiment index, as well as a solid increase in salary and wages for workers nationwide. This combination of factors, if it continues, should provide for a much better second quarter in regards to economic activity.
US Supreme Court Rules that a Landowner May Challenge Some Federal Wetland Designations
On Tuesday May 31, the US Supreme Court ruled that a landowner may challenge determinations made by the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding protected wetlands. This determination is significant in part due to recent changes in the Federal Clean Water Act which potentially put millions of additional acers within waters covered by the Act.
The Clean Water Act regulates the discharge of pollutants into the waters of the United States. The Corps currently allow property owners to obtain a standalone "jurisdictional determination" (JD) stating if their property contains "waters of the United States." At issue in this case was if this JD was final or is it reviewable by federal courts. With this unanimous determination by the US Supreme Court a landowner, in some cases, may appeal this protected wetland determination.
To reading the holding in its entirety, please find the following link: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/15-290_6k37.pdf
NACo to Host Virtual Town Halls on Opioid Epidemic
To further its efforts to help local officials address the ongoing opioid crisis in communities across the country, NACo has scheduled a series of Virtual Town Halls in the month of June to discuss various aspects of the local response to this crisis. On each Town Hall, NACo members will be joined by national experts and county appointees of the National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic, which was jointly convened in March by NACo and the National League of Cities to explore how cities and counties can collaborate to address the opioid epidemic. The Virtual Town Halls will build upon the conversations that began at the Task Force's first convening in April, and will assist Task Force members as they work to prepare a report featuring policy recommendations and best practices, to be released in October.
Prevention and Education Opioid Town Hall: Thursday, June 9, 2:00 p.m. EDT The first Town Hall will focus on prevention and education measures that local governments can take to lower the rates of drug use in their communities. On the call, NACo members will be joined by representatives from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO) to discuss effective prevention strategies.
Treatment Opioid Town Hall: Thursday, June 16, 2:00 p.m. EDT
The second Virtual Town Hall will focus on the treatment of individuals struggling with opioid addiction and is scheduled for Thursday, June 16 at 2:00pm ET. To discuss this topic, NACo will be joined by representatives from the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The discussion will cover Medication Assisted Treatment facilities and related treatment approaches that have proven effective at helping individuals struggling with opioid addiction to lead normal lives.
Public Safety Opioid Town Hall: Thursday, June 30, 2:00 p.m. EDT
The final Virtual Town Hall, scheduled for Thursday, June 30 at 2:00pm ET, will cover public safety and community wellness. Many local law enforcement departments across the country have reassessed their approach to the enforcement of laws related to the use of heroin, but skepticism remains in regards to the effectiveness of this hands-off approach. Representatives from the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) and Major County Sheriffs' Association will join to discuss public safety issues relating to the opioid crisis.
To register and learn more visit http://www.naco.org/blog/naco-host-virtual-town-halls-opioid-epidemic
|Training & Funding Opportunities
NYS Cyber Security Conference: 11th Annual Symposium on Information Assurance,
June 8 and 9 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany
As our online activities continue to increase, so does the potential for our information ending up in the wrong hands.
Consider the following:
Registration is free to government and public sector employees, including kindergarten-higher education.
For more information, including conference agenda and registration information, visit the conference website at www.its.ny.gov/eiso/conference/2016. Follow the conference on Twitter at #NysCyber and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nystatecio.
NYMIR Hosting June Risk Management Seminars
The New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) is committed to providing top notch risk management and training programs for member counties and local governments. Among the sessions scheduled for the month of June include:
Security Camera Webinar. On June 15th at 10 a.m., NYMIR will host a webinar on the use of security cameras by municipalities. This webinar will review how cameras can be used for surveillance both outside and inside buildings and inside vehicles. When using security cameras consideration needs to be given to the signage posted for the cameras, placement of cameras, and storage of the video. When incidents occur the video can be instrumental in the conviction of criminals. The use of video for these purposes will also be reviewed.
Playground and recreation risk management. On June 15th NYMIR will be in Lake George for a workshop on how to manage risks associated with running municipal recreation programs and maintaining local playgrounds.
Dig Safe. On June 16th in Mamaroneck. What does your team need to do and know before your road or DPW crew puts their shovel in the ground. This session will discuss the do's and don'ts of digging during this year's construction season.
Drive to Survive - Two safe driving sessions will be held in Genesee County on June 21st. The first is designed for law enforcement professionals and first responders, and the second is designed for public works and highway employees.