Assemblyman Brindisi Sponsors First Set of Bills That Would Bring Relief from Burdensome Unfunded Mandates

October 19, 2011

Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi (D-Utica) announced that he sponsored two bills that would help lower the cost of Medicaid in New York State, marking his first bill sponsorship. Both of these bills would work to mitigate unfunded mandates on local governments, which would mean savings for taxpayers.

“One of my top priorities is to help relieve unfunded mandates that overwhelm local governments and schools in the Mohawk Valley,” Brindisi said. “The time has come for Albany to stop passing the buck.”

The first bill would provide for an immediate freeze of local contributions to the cost of Medicaid, followed by the gradual state assumption of all non-federal Medicaid costs over an 8-year period (A.8644). This would create an instant savings for municipalities that are currently paying a state mandated 3 percent increase each year.

The second bill would authorize local social services districts to choose which state-required but not federally required Medicaid services to provide and categories of eligibility to cover (A.2285). Currently, there are both federally and state-required Medicaid services that each county in New York must provide that have put a strain on county budgets. By allowing each county to determine their own Medicaid program, each county would be able to tailor the services they provide to the population they serve, allowing for cost savings, Brindisi said.

“For too long, the state has mandated costly programs and services on counties and local municipalities they simply cannot afford,” Brindisi said. “Mandate relief is a top priority and a state takeover of the local share of Medicaid costs would save Oneida County taxpayers $55 million every year. These are the kind of huge savings that would ease the burden on area families and residents.”