Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel & Senator Craig Johnson Introduce Chapter Amendments to Consolidation/Dissolution Law

March 29, 2010
Albany – Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and Senator Craig Johnson introduced legislation (A.10432/S.7238) this week to amend the New York Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act (Empowerment Act). Joining Assemblywoman Schimel and Senator Johnson in proposing these chapter amendments are the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), the Association of Towns (AOT), the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), and the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York (AFDSNY).

On December 11, 2008 Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to fundamentally reorganize and consolidate local government through legislation, the "Empowerment Act," which was signed into law last year and took effect on March 21, 2010.

“Although the goal of the consolidation/dissolution law is laudable, it presents some technical issues that need to be addressed to prevent legal challenges to the local governments, fire districts, and special districts attempting to consolidate or dissolve. These chapter amendments address those concerns,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, a member of the Assembly’s Committee on Local Governments.

“The consolidation legislation was flawed,” said Senator Johnson, who was the only member of the Senate Majority to vote against the bill. “What Assemblywoman Schimel and I

are proposing are steps to fix these flaws and protect our constituents' quality of life. I thank FASNY, the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York, NYCOM and the Association of Towns for partnering with us on this very important issue.”

“I have been working continuously on this issue since I entered the Assembly 3 years ago. I hope these chapter amendments will remedy my long standing concerns with the legislation on reorganizing and consolidating local governments. Most importantly, it must reach the desk of the Governor for his signature,” said Assemblywoman Schimel.