At a time when our infrastructure is crumbling and we are seeing people leave upstate New York daily, the plague of unfunded mandates has become acceptable under the guise of reform. The current downstate led agenda values epicurean merits over basic accounting principles, availability of resources and the plight which upstate New York endures every day. The continued heaping of additional mandated costs on our counties, towns and villages needs to end.
The recently passed early voting legislation is one such unfunded mandate that was passed just days after the counties I represent adopted their yearly budgets. The Rensselaer County Board of Elections estimates an additional cost of $237,000 for the current year, putting undue strain on a previously balanced budget.
Although I strongly support any effort to increase voter participation, I cannot in good conscience vote to place additional financial burdens on our already financially strapped local municipalities.
I urge Governor Cuomo to fund this initiative and reduce the countless financial circumstances and onerous unfunded mandates that have repressed the growth of upstate New York for years.