Assemblywoman Russell: Consolidating Agencies Begins to Shrink State Government
Assemblywoman Addie Russell (D-Theresa) announced that the Assembly has put forth a plan to consolidate state agencies and promote shared services as a means of addressing the state’s $9.2 billion budget gap. The plan would reduce the state workforce by over 300 positions, including streamlining management, saving the state over $30 million in the 2010-2011 budget, and consolidate 37 state agencies or offices in the coming fiscal year.
“We continue to identify redundancies and places where we can save,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “Eliminating duplicative offices and merging services wherever possible will make government operate more efficiently and effectively while saving the taxpayers money. Streamlining state government has been one of my top goals and our proposal goes a long way toward reforming and shrinking state government.”
The Assembly’s plan includes:
- Merging the current departments of Banking and Insurance to form a new Department of Financial Services – saving $6.83 million;
- Merge the Higher Education Services Corporation into the state Education Department – saving more than $1 million;
- Merging the administration of the Environmental Facilities Corporation into the Department of Environmental Conservation – saving $154,000;
- Merging the State University Construction Fund into the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York;
- Sharing administrative functions between the offices of Children and Family Services and Temporary and Disability Services – saving $530,000;
- Sharing administrative functions between the offices of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services – saving $3.45 million;
- Consolidating the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform into the Department of State – saving $325,000;
- Authorizing the use of shared administrative services between the Racing and Wagering Board and the Division of Lottery; and
- Creating a task force to evaluate the consolidation of the Empire State Development Corporation, the Job Development Authority, the Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority into one Economic Development Agency.
The Assembly also accepts the following executive proposals, which would:
- Consolidate the Emergency Service and Homeland Security entities into a Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services;
- Consolidate the Operation of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and the Housing Finance Authority.
- Merge the Office of Real Property Services and the Department of Tax and Finance;
- Merge the State Fair and the Industrial Exhibit Authority;
- Authorize the use of shared administrative services for the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the Office of the Welfare Inspector General; and
- Transfer the Nutritional Outreach Program and the AIDS Homeless Housing Program in the Department of Health to the Office for Temporary Disability Assistance.
All proposed mergers would take effect Jan. 1, 2011.