County Perspective Week of March 13, 2017

The County Perspective: NYS Budget Update, Federal Healthcare Bill, Training, more
NYSAC Update

Advocating for Counties
NYSAC this week will be reviewing the one-house budget priorities released by the State Senate and Assembly. We will then be analyzing those priorities with the Executive Budget proposal released by Governor Cuomo in January.  We will at that time encourage county officials to be in contact with your State Representatives so that they know how budget negotiations could impact counties and county property taxpayers.
NYSAC materials on the county impact of the proposed NYS budget can be found at
Opioid Forum in Schenectady County
Today, NYSAC is in Schenectady County for an event in the ongoing series of regional meetings on local leadership in ending the opioid crisis. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who sits on a national task force on the heroin and opioid epidemic, will present the work of the committee and the strategies they are deploying in Erie County to address this addiction crisis that is attacking communities across the state and the nation. To read the report, visit
Western Intercounty to Meet Friday 
On Friday, NYSAC will attend the Western Intercounty meeting in Allegany County to provide an Albany Update, which will focus on the status of budget negotiations at the State Capitol.
New Videos on NYSAC TV
There are several new videos recently posted on the NYSAC TV YouTube channel. These videos include highlights from the NYSAC Legislative Conference and recordings of testimony on State Budget issues that NYSAC has presented to committees of the State Legislature.
State Legislative Update
The Senate and Assembly will convene for session in Albany Monday, March 13 to Wednesday, March 15th. Both houses are expected to release their one house spending plans on Monday, March 13th.  These could take the form of bills or resolutions that establish the major priorities of each house.
Once these one house measures are released and passed by their respective chambers. Immediately following we can expect the legislative leaders will name Budget Conference Committees which negotiate aspects of the budget still in question. 
NYSAC will have a prepared analysis of the Governor's plan and the two house items this week. This is an opportunity for county officials to connect with their state legislators on areas of collective and specific concerns to their counties. County officials are urging their State Lawmakers to target the items discussed in our Fact Sheets, which can be found on website at:
Public Service Commission Order Aims to
Speed Utilities' Clean Energy Efforts
Last week, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a new order that calls on state utilities to develop energy storage, make data more accessible, make interconnections more accessible, and come up with more detailed plans for energy efficient alternatives that avoid costly capital investments.
It sets out specific requirements for utilities to serve as "platform providers" for a host of local renewable resources, and not just as traditional shippers of electricity from power plants to customers.
The order requires utilities to implement energy storage projects designed to help reduce peak load and increase capacity by the end of 2018.  It also addresses the need for utilities to provide third party energy companies with data that can help them fit clean energy technology into the existing grid. Utilities sit on troves of data about their customers' energy behavior which could be of enormous use to third party providers in developing and marketing technology. They also have extensive data on the grid itself, regarding where demand is highest, at what times, and where new distributed energy resources could best plug in.
The order requires utilities to release information on where those resources can most easily connect to the grid by October. By November, the commission will require utilities to set up "operational online portals" for projects to apply to connect to the grid. The order also calls on utilities to "consider a way to provide more customer aggregated data" so third party providers are not hampered by a lack of information. Within 60 days, utilities will also have to present plans on creating "non-wires alternatives," which is essentially creating energy efficiency and local renewable energy resources, that could forego the need for costly investments in new substations and transmission wires.
For more information, please see the Public Service Commission's website, here.
New York High Court to Decide- Can Facebook Quash Search Warrants on Consumer's Behalf
On February 7, 2017, the New York Court of Appeals heard the case regarding whether Facebook and other online social networking services can litigate enforcement of a warrants for on behalf of their customers prior to warrant compliance. The outcome of the case, Matter of 381 Search Warrants Directed to Facebook, Inc, will provide guidance for future criminal investigations by law enforcement and District Attorneys.
Facebook is an online social networking platform on which users record and place online personal pictures, opinions, and other data. This information is shared between other Facebook users and data can placed into private settings restricting who can and cannot view this data.
On July 23, 2013, the Manhattan District Attorney's (DA) Office issued 381 search warrants for Facebook accounts. The warrants were issued as part of an investigation into the fraudulent filing of Social Security disability claims.  Facebook moved to quash the warrants, challenging the scope of the request as well as accompanying nondisclosure requirements forbidding Facebook to tell their users of this activity. The DA argued the nondisclosure requirements are necessary so that the end-user did not destroy any evidence that could be pertinent to the investigation.  Additionally, the DA argued that Facebook does not have legal standing to raise constitutional challenges on these warrants, as the end-users and not Facebook were the target of the criminal investigation.
The lower courts both sided with the DA, upheld the warrants as issued and denied the motion to quash. Facebook appealed to New York's high court with amicus curiae provided by the multiple interested parties including the ACLU, Google, Microsoft and Twitter. NYSAC will monitor this case and provide an update when a determination is made. 
GOP Health Proposal Keeps Moving in House, CBO Review Expected Today
The two House committees that began marking up new health care reforms that are intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act passed their versions by a straight party line vote last week. 
Each committee has jurisdiction over separate sections of law, with the Ways and Means Committee adopting a measure that repealed most of the tax increases and health insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, while also establishing new tax credits that will be available to help people buy insurance under the new plan. 
The Energy and Commerce Committee has general jurisdiction over Medicaid and similar health programs. Under the new proposal Medicaid will no longer be an entitlement and states will receive funding through a per capita allotment that grows each year by the rate of medical inflation for several different eligibility categories (aged, disabled, children etc.).
Representative Collins (working with other NY members) introduced an amendment that would no longer allow the State to pass through the cost of Medicaid to counties (not including New York City). The amendment is to be considered when the bill reaches the House Floor for a final vote in that chamber.
A critical element still missing from the congressional consideration of this legislation is an official score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is expected today. CBO is the official "scorekeeper" of legislative proposal in Congress and they will provide estimates of the potential impacts of the new proposal versus current law, including the impact on the federal deficit and the number of people that might gain or lose health insurance coverage.   
Cornell Census Bureau Workshops on 2020 Population Count
Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Operation is a once-a-decade opportunity for local designated representatives to review the addresses that will be used to conduct the Decennial Census.
In preparation for Local Update Census Addresses (LUCA) the Census Bureau made address list counts available. These counts represent the number of residential and group quarters addresses in each Census block. These counts can be compared with local address listings and if differences are observed it is important that the local area participates in LUCA, as that is the best way to tell the Census Bureau where to count the local residents.
The Cornell Program on Applied Demographics added information from the 2010 Census to these counts and linked them to shapefiles, so they can be imported and analyzed in a GIS system.
The Cornell program is now offering a series of works to help local governments ensure an accurate census count. These regional workshops will be held over the next two months at the following dates and locations.
March 21, 2017
Location: Ithaca, NY 14850
Click here for details and registration
March 23, 2017
Location: Jamestown, NY 14701
Click here for details and registration
May 18, 2017
Location: Albany, NY 12205
Click here for details and registration
May 30, 2017
Location: Goshen, NY 10924
Click here for details and registration
keys to leadership
Seeking Nominations for Excellence in Public Service Awards
On Monday, May 22, 2017 the New York State Academy for Public Administration (SAPA) will be hosting its 6th annual Public Service Excellence Award Program.
Counties are invited to nominate an individual or team for this award. Applications are due April 10, 2017. Awardees will be announced on May 3, with a ceremony to be held on May 22.
The Public Service Excellence Award is a great way to recognize an outstanding individual or team of individuals in your agency who exemplify the best of public service in New York State. Agencies and local governments may nominate both a team and an individual if they choose. For a copy of the nomination form, please email