Mandate Relief Will Save New Yorkers Millions

Reform legislation streamlines services, cuts down on costs, promotes taxpayer savings
November 12, 2009

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) announced that the New York State Assembly passed mandate relief legislation that will streamline services in New York State to cut down on wasteful spending and saving taxpayers millions.

“This is a sweeping bill that targets several areas that were in need of mandate reform and relief,” Jaffee said. “In financially daunting times like these, when New York is grappling with a $3.9 billion deficit, we need to take a serious look at where we can streamline, consolidate and organize to make government run more efficiently. That’s exactly what this legislation does.”

The legislation extends cooperative health benefits to more New Yorkers and consolidates the position of public health directors by allowing one public health director to serve more than one county. The Department of Health though will be required to periodically review any directors that serve multiple counties to make sure that the public health interest is being served through these new arrangements. In addition to health-related mandate relief, this legislation addresses procurement and municipal bonding procedures, as well as measures to improve coordination of state and local highway services.

The local competitive bidding thresholds for all contracts for public works of more than $20,000 has been increased to $35,000, which will increase local government effectiveness. Also, the state Municipal Bond Bank Agency will be able to purchase municipal bonds for public improvements provided by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This will allow towns and villages to bond for monies they desperately need to get much needed public improvements under way and provide more jobs locally.

“The purpose of this legislation is not just to streamline services to save money for the state, but to also provide relief to New York’s hardworking families,” Jaffee said. “Through straightforward measures like this we can makes some serious headway in not only making New York run more efficiently but also sparing families the pain of paying excess taxes for services they either don’t need or which can be consolidated or reduced with ease.”