County Perspective for January 25, 2019

This week's news for NY's county leaders.

NYSAC Update

NYS County Leaders to Convene in Albany (link to agenda)

County delegates from across the state will gather next Monday through Wednesday for the 2019 Legislative Conference hosted by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.
Attendees will attend bipartisan standing committee meetings, training workshops, keynote addresses, and business meetings.
County leaders are watching several policy decisions unfolding at the state level that will impact local governments statewide. NYSAC and its members are specifically watching:
  • Voting reforms and funding for implementation;
  • Plans to make the property tax permanent;
  • Marijuana legalization;
  • Internet sales tax;
  • Reductions in AIM funding; and
  • and several other state policies with local impact.
Conference attendees will develop and vote on a series of resolutions to address these and other concerns.
Walk-in conference registrations are welcome. Registration opens on Monday at 9 a.m.
County Legislative Priorities
Decisions made in the State Capitol this year, will have a direct impact on the ability of local governments to provide and pay for essential public services in our communities. As such, NYSAC's 2019 Legislative Program represents not only the needs of our counties, but also the concerns of property taxpayers across this state.

NYSAC's key county priority continues to be reducing the high property tax burden on New Yorkers through mandate relief. Within that top concern, NYSAC's 2019 Legislative Program and Platform include priorities within 19 policy areas. Our state advocacy platform is broad because of our wide-ranging mandated responsibilities.
View the two-page NYSAC Legislative program here.
For in-depth policy analysis, view the NYSAC Policy Platform here.
New NYSAC Whitepapers and Reports
Click on the report title below to view the document.
2019 State of the State and State Budget Release Highlights

2019 Budget Priority Fact Sheets

State Update

Election Reform Bills Signed Into Law
[info from Ryan]
View the 2019 Voting Reform Proposals Fact Sheet.
View our in-depth Voting Reform policy analysis.
Making the Tax Cap Permanent
This week, the Governor and Senate Majority Leader renewed their call to make the property tax cap permanent, and county leaders across the state need to ask their representatives: “Where's the mandate relief?”
When the State Legislature voted for the property tax cap in 2011, they stood on the floor and pledged to pass mandate relief. Eight years later and there is not one state mandate that costs less than it did in 2011. In fact, the cost of state mandates keep rising, and state lawmakers keep enacting more mandates.
NYSAC delegates attending the 2019 Legislative Conference will be taking up a resolution asking State Leaders to reduce the cost of state mandates and ban the enactment of future before they take a vote to make the tax cap permanent.
View the 2019 Fact Sheet: Making the Tax Cap Permanent

Federal Update

The Federal Budget Shutdown & Food Assistance
There has been significant concern raised by many regarding the impact of a prolonged government shutdown on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and funding, as well as other nutrition assistance programs.
As of this reporting, states have been notified by the USDA that additional resources have been identified to fully fund SNAP benefits through February. The USDA will be reaching out to states to implement this strategy, which includes having states seek an early issuance of SNAP benefits for February by seeking federal funding authorization by January 20, 2019. In addition, other child nutrition programs including WIC and school lunches have funding authorized through February.
No federal plans have been released regarding what happens if the shutdown extends past February. Counties will continue to monitor the situation and work with state and federal officials to ensure benefits are provided and sufficient administrative and financial support is provided to counties to facilitate the continuation of these programs.     
Correspondence to states from the USDA can be found at: and USDA memo to SNAP state agencies: