McLaughlin: Schools, Local Governments Need Relief

June 20, 2011

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) today joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) and Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino to support unfunded mandate relief for local governments and school districts before the close of the 2011 legislative session. McLaughlin noted that without significant mandate relief, a property tax cap would be incomplete because our local governments and schools would be forced to drive up taxes. Mandate relief is imperative to New York’s long-term financial future.

“I have been consistently meeting with superintendents, teachers, county and local government officials, all of whom have been repeating the same thing: Albany needs to stop hurting and start helping,” said McLaughlin. “Our communities need real relief from wasteful mandated programs like Medicaid, along with rising health care costs, payroll, and pension obligations. Albany is on track to bankrupt our localities and schools and threatens the educational future of our children. This crushing burden needs to end. The legislature must pass meaningful mandate relief today.

“Albany has a number of specifics to address before the end of session. We need to suspend and remove unfunded mandates, restore fiscal restraint to state government, reduce public pension and payroll obligations, rein in Medicaid mandates, address health care costs, and provide relief from state paperwork requirements. If Albany can successfully address this in a meaningful way, it would be the first serious step toward finally lifting the burden on our localities and schools. It’s imperative that we put the brakes on the local cost-drivers that are crushing taxpayers.”