Counties in the News, December 7, 2016

Wednesday's news from counties across the state
Reasons for Governor Cuomo to Sign Indigent Defense Reform Legislation
  1. Mandate Relief
Indigent Legal Defense is a state responsibility that was shifted to counties in the 1960's. It is one of nine state mandated programs that consume 100% of county property taxes collected statewide (outside of NYC). The bill that will be sent to the Governor this month (S.8114 DeFrancisco/A.10706 Fahy) would provide for a multi-year state takeover of county indigent defense costs.
  1. Balanced Justice
The bill will cap the number of cases that each public defender can work on, enabling them to provide more focused representation to each defendant. It also requires counsel at arraign, when the accused is charged and first stands before a judge.
  1. Avoid future litigation costs
In 2006, five counties and the State of New York were sued by the NYS Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which claimed indigent criminal defense services were underfunded and failed to meet constitutionally-required standards. A 2014, the Hurrell-Harring case was settled with state-funded expansion of indigent defense services in the five counties. The bill that will be sent to the Governor this month would shield the other 52 counties from similar ACLU lawsuits.
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State must ensure justice for all: Editorial

NY Gov. Cuomo urged to sign bill funding public defenders
Bellone Announces Plans for Dredging of Suffolk County Waters
Rockland lawmakers adopt budget with ‘modest' tax cut

Local Officials Encourage Public to Speak Out Against Barge Anchorage Plan

Neuhaus presents $2,601 check to American Cancer Society

‘Dining with Heart in Orange County' Launched

County invites businesses to 'return the favor'
Saratoga County Supervisors vote to override state tax cap
State makes tourism promotion money available for group of Adirondack towns

Essex County passes tethering law

Frontier Town back in the spotlight
Water agreement still under review

County to offer payroll software to Horseheads
Buyer in the offing for former Eagle Mountain site in Bristol
Erie Co. to spend $100K to bring Uber/Lyft to WNY

Cable company merger will fill in many gaps for high-speed Internet in Orleans

Erie County ups ante in crackdown on deadbeat property owners owing $1.8M                                                                                                                                
Erie County sees rise in Medicaid usage due to ACA, report finds

Top County Positions to be Filled by Year's End