— POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Senator Terry Gipson (D-Rhinebeck) has submitted legislation (S5126) that would amend the New York State Constitution prohibiting the state from imposing unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts. Senator Gipson’s legislation intends to assist county and local governments in their efforts to balance their budgets and reduce the cost of living for taxpayers.
“When I took office, I knew that I had to stand up and stop the madness of annually passing new unfunded mandates to our local governments that has gone on for decades. Albany needs to make fiscally sound decisions that don’t punish our local schools and governments,” said Gipson.
Unfunded mandates are program requirements passed on to local governments from the state, with little or no financial assistance with which to implement or administer them. These mandates pose a serious issue for local governments, which must either increase taxes and service costs, or are forced to cut vital services in order to implement these programs.
This legislation to end unfunded mandates would allow local governments to choose whether a mandate will be implemented in their area, and require the state to fund mandates that are unreasonably costly. This will ensure that our local municipalities are protected from financially egregious directives, allowing local governments to continue to serve their constituents in the most cost effective and efficient manner.
“Many local municipalities are currently faced with budget deficits that have piled up over many years. These unsustainable deficits hurt our local economies. We cannot afford to simply raise taxes in order to get out of these fiscal holes. I’m committed to working with municipalities in my district and across New York State to achieve greater fiscal health through smart, financially responsible reforms that create jobs and move our economy forward,” concluded Gipson.