Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) is continuing his push for mandate relief by sponsoring legislation that will shift Medicaid payments off of localities and onto state government. This transition will prevent local governments from raising taxes in order to meet statewide obligations.
“When our local governments are squeezed for money by Albany, the taxpayer is the one that suffers,” said Hawley. “In order to make the property tax cap the effective, cost-saving program it can be, we need to get rid of the unfunded mandates that are bankrupting our localities. Without mandate relief, local governments will be forced to reduce services or raise costs for the families and businesses in our community that are struggling to keep their heads above water. That’s why it is so important that state government stops turning to localities to pay for their red tape.”
Hawley has signed on as a co-sponsor of Assembly bill 8644. Under current law, local governments and New York City spend approximately $7.3 billion each year on Medicaid payments, a figure that is set to increase by three percent annually. The assemblyman’s legislation would freeze local contributions on January 1, 2012, reduce them by five percent on October 1, 2012, continue reductions in the following years, and fully shift costs to the state in 2019.