Indigent Legal Services Bill: Statement from NYSAC Executive Director

This legislation would ensure legal representation for the poor and help reduce local property taxes.

County governments across New York State work hard to stabilize local property taxes, mindful of the impact on our residents and businesses.  At the same time, counties must provide essential services like public safety and maintainance of our roads and bridges as well as services mandated by the state.   

This important mandate relief legislation (S.8114 DeFrancisco/A.10706 Fahy) will help counties provide a vital service to our residents that have a constitutional right to an attorney, but do not have the resources to pay for one. At the same time, this new law would implement a state takeover of these indigent defense costs, which will help counties remain under the property tax cap in future years. This legislation is a key component of helping to reduce property taxes. 

We urge the Governor to sign this legislation into law and we applaud State lawmakers for their focus on mandate relief and equal justice.

-Stephen Acquario, Executive Director, NYS Association of Counties