The County Perspective for January 25, 2018

Conference Tips, Unfunded Mandates, Raise the Age, and more.


NYSAC Update 

Getting the Most from NYSAC's 2018 Legislative Conference

Next week, hundreds of county delegates from across the state are gathering in Albany for the 2018 Legislative Conference hosted by NYSAC at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.
On Monday morning, delegates will convene Standing Committee meetings to consider dozens of resolutions submitted by county officials and hear from state and local policy experts. While only committee members can vote on these resolutions, the meetings are open to attendees who want to learn more about pressing issues impacting public safety, child welfare, taxation, transportations, and other areas of concern for counties.
Newly elected and appointed county officials will have a day-long training program beginning at 10 a.m. Monday.
NYSAC's Women's Leadership Council welcomes Ellie Neves for an interactive and motivational presentation at 1 p.m. on Monday in High Street 24.
A series of 20 workshops will be offered beginning at 2 p.m. Monday and going through 5 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. Workshop tracks of interest include sharing services and the tax cap, communication and social media, serving our seniors, veterans and special needs children, and an analysis of the state budget, among others.
Among the conference-wide speakers you won't want to miss include:
  • NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli at the Monday general session lunch 1 p.m. in the King Street Ballroom
  • Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul at the Taste of NY Reception on Monday at 6 p.m. in the King Street Ballroom
  • Harvard Kennedy School Professor Stephen Goldsmith at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Fort Orange Ballroom
  • NYS Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan at the Luncheon on Tuesday in the King Street Ballroom
  • Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb at the Luncheon on Tuesday in the King Street Ballroom
Learn more about the Legislative Conference here.

The New York State Association of County Clerks Gather at Winter Conference

On January 21st through the 23rd the New York State Association of County Clerks (NYSACC) met in Albany for their annual Winter Conference.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy got the conference started by welcoming the clerks and thanking them for their public service. This NYSACC conference, led by their president Annette Hill, provided the county clerks a platform to share best practices and solutions to issues impacting county government. Workshops and speakers included Assemblymember Billy Jones providing an update on state and local efforts to combat the opioid crisis, as well as NYS Chief Information Security Officer Deb Snyder with a presentation on cybersecurity. 

State Update

NYSAC Advocates for Counties on Unfunded Mandates
NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario and Legislative Director Katie Hohman advocated at the capitol on Tuesday, January 23, to support S2323 Griffo/A2922 Brindisi. This legislation would require any state mandated program imposed on municipalities and school districts to be funded by the state. 
Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario addressed the Senate Local Government committee, Chaired by Senator Marchione. Acquario expressed NYSAC's support for legislation such as S2323 and S1347A Funke and the need to continue our partnership with the committee and build on the work we have accomplished together thus far. This was the Senate Local Government Committee's first meeting of 2018 and there was a strong agenda supporting local governments. To view Stephen Acquario' s entire message please click here.
NYSAC's Memo of Support for S2323 Griffo/A2922 Brindisi can be found here.
Legislative Update
The week of January 16th marked the third week of the 2018 Legislative Session. On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo delivered his annual budget proposal at the New York State Museum. The Governor's budget proposed a $168.1 billion spending plan that closes a $4.4 billion shortfall and caps spending at less than a 2 percent increase.
In response to the budget proposal, the Senate and Assembly released their 2018 Joint Legislative Hearing Schedule. Hearings began with Higher Education on Tuesday, January 23 and will end with Mental Hygiene on Tuesday, February 13th.  The full scheduled can be found here.

Raising the Age - Specialized Detention emergency regulations

On Thursday, December 8th the Office of Children and Families (OCFS) released the Specialized Detention emergency regulations. Under the new Raise the Age law, the office of children and family is required by law to promulgate and publish the rules which apply to the newly created specialized secure juvenile detention facilities. These regulations will be on the State Register on December 20, 2017 and available for public comment. The public comment period will end at the close of business on Friday, February 2, 2018.
The draft regulations are available here:

Federal Update

Congress, President clear spending bill to end government shutdown – NACo update

On January 22, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed a temporary government funding bill, or continuing resolution (CR), to fund the federal government through February 8. President Trump signed the legislation, soon after officially ending the shutdown, which lasted just under three days.
A breakthrough in negotiations was made after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to allow a floor vote on immigration legislation in February. House leadership, however, has not yet indicated whether it would follow suit.
Central to the shutdown was insistence that legislation be forged that would have clarified the current DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy before its expiration on March 6th, a date set forth by President Trump in September 2017. The current DACA provisions, established by an Executive Order signed by former President Barack Obama, provided certain legal protections for those who came to the United States as children with their parents, including a shield from deportation. Leader McConnell's assurance that a bill addressing DACA would come to the Senate floor for debate paved the way for a shutdown-ending vote, which passed with bipartisan support 81-18.
In addition to a forthcoming vote on the DACA program, the funding measure also includes a six-year funding extension for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health benefits to children in families with incomes too high for Medicaid but who are unable to afford private insurance. The program expired on September 30, 2017, and as many as 20 states would have exhausted CHIP funds in 2018. The final agreement also further delayed the so-called Cadillac Tax, an excise tax on high-value health insurance plans until 2022, protecting counties from potentially large costs on their employer-sponsored health plans.
NACo will continue to monitor the appropriations and budget process. With only a three-week extension in play, it is imperative that our legislators know the importance of uninterrupted and reliable federal funding for important programs that provide vital and life-saving services for residents across the country.