The County Perspective for June 15, 2018
Plastic Bags, Final Days of Session, Local Tax Extenders, Sports Gambling, Opioid Legislation, Food Waste Recycling, and more.
NYSAC Hosts Webinar on Plastic Bags and the Environment
On Tuesday, June 12, NYSAC hosted a webinar to provide county leaders with a range of perspectives on the problems plastic bags pose and how to best protect our environment. NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario moderated the webinar and opened the discussion by providing an overview of the issue. William Rabbia, Executive Director of the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority, then provided a deeper dive into the problems single-use plastics cause for solid waste managers.
The second half of the webinar focused on what can be done to reduce plastic bag consumption in New York State. Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer discussed the success of the county's five-cent fee on single-use plastic bags, which went into effect on January 1, 2018.
Mona Golub, Vice President of Public Relations and Consumer Services for Price Chopper/Market 32, said that Price Chopper thinks a fee is a good way to discourage reliance on lightweight plastic bags and encourage customers to use heavyweight reusable bags. Jason Wadsworth, Manager of Sustainability for Wegmans, focused on the importance of education, recycling, and avoiding a return to paper bags. Gary Carrel, a Solid Waste Recycling Specialist for Erie County, then provided an example of the important role counties can play in educating their residents about plastic bag use reduction.
In his closing remarks, Acquario called on county leaders to discuss the issue. NYSAC supports a statewide solution and a phaseout of single-use plastic bags by 2020. Click here to watch the full webinar.
County Associations Recognize Senator Hannon for Commitment to Local Public Health
The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) and the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) presented Senator Kemp Hannon with the County Leadership Award today in recognition for his efforts in confronting the public health issues facing our communities. Read more here.
Save the Date: Sept 24-26, NYSAC Fall Seminar in Rochester
The NYSAC Fall Seminar is just a few months away! Join hundreds of county delegates from across the state for cutting edge workshops that will keep you ahead of the curve on emerging local issues. The agenda and registration information will be arriving in mailboxes this summer. Save the date and encourage your colleagues in county government to do the same!
The New York State Association of County Clerks Gathered for their Summer Conference
On June 10th through the 14th, the New York State Association of County Clerks (NYSACC) met in New York City for their annual Summer Conference. This NYSACC conference, led by Association president Annette Hill, provided the County Clerks a platform to share best practices and solutions to issues impacting their positions in county government. Workshops and speakers included Travis Hill from the Real Estate Enforcement Unit in the NYS Attorney General's Office, who trained the Clerks on how to spot document fraud. Additionally, Michael Chodos of Notarize Inc. updated the Clerks on the rules and trends of interstate notarization.
NYSAC Municipal Healthcare Financing Collective
The NYSAC Municipal Healthcare Financing Collective is a shared services initiative that aims to cut healthcare costs by aggregating the purchase of stop-loss insurance coverage. NYSAC met recently with representatives from Columbia County to discuss the program. Their discussion is part of a recent NYSAC podcast. Read more and listen to the podcast here.
NYSAC Hosts Webinar on Elections Cyber-Security with NYS Board of Elections
On June 5, NYSAC and the New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) hosted a webinar to update county officials on the rollout of a four-pronged plan to strengthen cyber protections for New York's election infrastructure. The strategy is supported by $5 million from the FY 2018-19 State Budget and a five-year appropriation of $19.5 million from the federal omnibus spending bill. Click here to learn more and to listen to the NYSAC Podcast on Cyber Security and Election Security (33 minutes)
More News from NYSAC:
Monroe County Executive Dinolfo Elected to NYSAC Board
Board Elects Ontario County Chairman Marren As Second Vice President
Keep up with all the news from NYSAC at NYSAC.org
There are only three days left of the 2018 NYS Legislative Session. The Legislature is scheduled to convene Monday, June 18 through Wednesday, June 20, 2018. With one week remaining many items have been introduced; sports betting, gun control, teacher evaluations, and the Senate Republicans are working on legislation related to teacher evaluations and a charter school funding cap.
Local Tax Extenders
The Senate and the Assembly have begun to pass county local mortgage recording tax extenders and local hotel/motel tax extenders. In the final days of the session, it is important that members of your county board contact your Assembly and Senate representatives to ask them to support these measures.
NYSAC continues to track all measures that may impact counties, and has weighed in on the following pieces of legislation. We encourage all county board members to contact their Assembly and Senate representative to express your support and weigh in on legislation important to your county. Your voice matters very much to our state leaders.
Sports Gambling Legislative Update
On June 13th, the New Jersey Governor signed legislation allowing sports gaming within their State. Sports betting can now take place immediately in New Jersey casinos, and online gaming can commence 30 days from bill enactment. This follows the State of Delaware, which began permitting this sports betting at their casinos on June 5th. Dozens of other states are currently considering this measure.
In New York, with three days of scheduled session remaining, all eyes are on bill S7900 (Bonacic)/A11144 (Pretlow) to determine if sports gaming legislation will be passed this year. This bill has already gone through a few amendments and ongoing negations between all interested parties will most likely force further changes. If passed as currently constructed, the bill would allow for sports gaming in casinos as well online sports gaming. Additionally, casinos may partner with “affiliates” (defined as OTB's and race tracks) to allow for sports betting kiosks to be placed within the affiliate facility.
NYSAC will continue to monitor this issue and update our members when more information becomes available.
Families First–Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program
The Family First Prevention Services Act contains provisions that would significantly reduce the likelihood of receiving federal Title IV-E funding for many foster children placed in residential programs (congregate care placements) and imposes unfunded bureaucratic mandates. Family First limits federal reimbursement to certain categories of congregate care, one being the newly created Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP). New York's initial estimate indicates we could lose more than $200 million annually in the federal child welfare funding.
On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 NYSAC will be participating in a call with the Office of Children and Families Services (OCFS) for an update on Family First and Comprehensive Child Welfare Information Systems (CCWIS). For more information on NYSAC's efforts please visit our website (insert link).
$4 Million in Grants Available to Expand Food Waste Recycling
The New York State Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) announced that it is making $4 million in grant funding available to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills. In addition, the Food Bank Association of New York State will be administering a separate $2.8 million grant program to help 10 regional food banks capture more food for donation. Both initiatives aim to expand the state's capacity to reduce and divert wasted food.
Funding for the food waste recycling grant program comes from the Environmental Protection Fund and will be administered by Rochester Institute of Technology's Prevention Pollution Institute (NYSP2I). The program will help food scraps generators implement food waste reduction recommendations, purchase capital equipment used in food donation, and expand diversion efforts to on and off-site compost and anaerobic digestion facilities. To be eligible, proposed projects must reduce and/or divert wasted food at a New York State business, including, but not limited to, supermarkets, restaurants, and hospitals. For more information, visit the Food Waste Reduction & Diversion Reimbursement Program webpage.
Funding Matrix for Raising the Age
On Wednesday, June 6, 2018 the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) in conjunction with the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) released the funding matrix for Raising the Age (RTA). To be eligible for reimbursement, the law requires that counties submit a Comprehensive Plan to OCFS and DCJS that identifies your anticipated, eligible incremental Raise the Age-related costs. A fiscal planning instrument is required to be submitted and approved by the state Division of the Budget for your county to be reimbursed. This planning document will be shared with local departments of social service as well as probation departments.
Reimbursement will only be made for incremental costs directly related to implementing the Raise the Age legislation:
- All costs will be evaluated for reasonableness based upon projections of arrest and case processing activity which have been shared with each county;
- Only those costs identified in Comprehensive Plans will be considered for reimbursement;
- Each county shall designate one entity that will be responsible for submission of the comprehensive plan, and subsequent claims for reimbursement;
- Reasonable and necessary Raise the Age – related expenditures that have been incurred on or before April 1, 2018 will be considered for reimbursement as approved by the Director of the Budget, and should be included and clearly identified in Comprehensive Plans; and,
- Any capital construction contemplated for detention services must be identified in the Comprehensive Plans, even though separate review, approval, and reimbursement processes will be required for related expenses.
The documents can be found at the following website: https://www.ny.gov/programs/raise&age&0
White House's Youth Opioid Prevention Campaign
On Thursday, June 7th NYSAC participated in a call with the White House to discuss the launch of the White House's Youth Opioid Prevention
Campaign. The campaign will include ads to combat the opioid crisis. This first set of ads is focused on preventing young adults, ages 18-24, from misusing or abusing opioids. This campaign was created in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Ad Council, and the Truth Initiative. The Ad Council has a 75-year history of effective and iconic public awareness campaigns, and the Truth Initiative has a proven track record of changing youth health behaviors.
The first four ads, which are based on real life experiences, tell the graphic stories of four young adults going to extreme lengths to maintain their prescription opioid addiction. These ads show young adults how quickly opioid addiction can occur, and the harrowing measures some go through to continue use of drugs while in the grips of addiction. This will be the first of many ad campaigns from this Administration targeted to different audiences and varying aspects of the opioid crisis.
This campaign is another critical step to combat drug demand and the opioid crisis. To view the ads and learn more about the campaign to combat the opioid epidemic, visit opioids.thetruth.com
Senate Judiciary Committee approves five opioid bills; NACo releases analysis of opioid legislation in Congress
On May 24, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee advanced five bipartisan bills aimed at limiting the supply and demand of prescription and illicit opioids. The five bills, which are relatively narrow in scope, promote measures such as drug take-back programs, manufacturer quotas for opioid production and the use of data to prevent drug diversion.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) released their NACo Legislative Analysis: Opioid Legislation in the 115th Congress
. The analysis includes Congressional proposals aimed at strengthening the nation's response to this crisis. Many of these proposals would impact county governments, which are at the heart of America's response to addiction through local health systems, human services agencies and law enforcement departments.
This analysis is part of NACo's ongoing effort to help strengthen federal support for county agencies on the frontlines of our nation's response to the opioid epidemic. To view the analysis please click here
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