Governor Accepts Legislature’s Increase in State Aid for Local Governments

Plan adds $150 million in additional funding for cities, towns and villages
April 13, 2006

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (Ulster and Dutchess Counties) announced today that the Legislature’s decision to significantly increase funding for local municipal aid over what Governor Pataki had initially proposed has not been vetoed. The Legislature’s plan will add $150 million over last year’s total, bringing the state contribution to nearly $1 billion.

“In this era of rising costs, particularly in the area of energy, it is important that the state step up its commitment to local governments,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “Our aid package will help our cities, towns and villages deal with their already stretched budgets without having to place additional burdens on property taxpayers.”

Localities in the 101st Assembly District would receive a 15% increase over last year. The City of Kingston would see their total amount of state aid jump to $2,748,941, an 18% increase over last year. Overall, cities, towns and villages within Assemblymember Cahill’s district would have an additional half a million dollars to work with when compared to the budget allotment in the 2005-2006 Fiscal Year. The aid would help to offset increases in costs for public protection, sanitation and other general services.

The Governor did, however, veto a key provision in the Legislature’s local municipal aid budget that would have eliminated restrictions on how the localities may allocate the increased funds. “Nobody knows more about what makes our communities run than our local officials,” reasoned Mr. Cahill. “That is why it is so important to leave the funding decisions up to them. The Legislature’s package would have done just that, provide more funding without strings attached,” he added.

“Unfortunately, the Governor’s short-sighted veto fails to recognize that what works for Buffalo doesn’t necessarily work for Kingston” said Assemblymember Cahill. “A one-size fits all approach may work in a state like Iowa, but not here,” he concluded.

Click on the following link to see a state-wide breakdown of local aid disbursement: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/WAM/20060324a/cities.html