A bill to discontinue a State Police rule that prohibits troopers from appearing at local courts to recommend reduced charges for traffic violations was vetoed by Governor Eliot Spitzer this week. Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia), a prime co-sponsor of the Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) legislation, said the veto will cause an increase in costs for municipalities only to be supported by a raise in property taxes.
“When a bill such as this is vetoed by the governor, I wonder if those highly touted property tax rebate checks are only being sent to offset the costs of these backdoor measures to raise taxes on municipalities and homeowners,” said Hawley.
According to Hawley, the policy change proposed by State Police leadership would cost taxpayers more money to get the same result, shifting the cost of prosecutions to localities, while not necessarily reducing state costs.
Consequences of the policy change would include extra trips to court for motorists, and additional court officers and county prosecutors that would be funded by increasing real property taxes.
“Prosecutors do not have the manpower to take on the additional workload and would require a significant increase in taxpayer dollars to do so,” said Hawley.
The bill overwhelmingly passed both houses of the Legislature.