mandates

Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) wrapped up its annual meeting in Albany this week where county executives discussed the unique needs of New York’s regional governments.

One prominent issue was consolidation. During his budget presentation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo renewed his push for local governments to share more resources as part of a plan to freeze property taxes if counties stay within a two percent cap.

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Two Syracuse City Council members and three city school board members were sworn in at city hall on Monday. The new and returning office holders acknowledged there will be many tough issues for them to face in their terms.

Friends and family members cheered on as their elected officials took the oath of office in the packed Common Council Chambers.

President of the Syracuse Common Council Van Robinson was sworn in for a second term. He says it's his job to assure the people that Syracuse will not go down the road of bankruptcy, and that the city needs to grow.

School districts across New York state are in the midst of their budget process right now, with many facing dwindling state aid and more state mandates.  A weekend legislative conference in Syracuse focused on the story that doesn't seem to change.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is telling local governments they are on their own when it comes to coping with a recently imposed property tax cap, saying it is up to county and city government leaders to make the hard choices, and to stop complaining.

Fall means budget season in counties across New York State.  Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney makes her budget pitch to lawmakers Friday.  Many governments are facing the same pressures.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy has been beating a path back and forth across upstate New York, as he campaigns for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget initiatives.

Duffy made his second stop in Syracuse this week on Thursday, this time to drum up support for changes to pensions and Medicaid funding.

But this time he brought some friends.

Duffy led a hearing of the 11-member Mandate Relief Council [PDF], made up of members of Cuomo’s administration and elected lawmakers. The group heard testimony from central New York government and business leaders at Le Moyne College.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney works on the front lines of the "unfunded mandate" issue, a phrase we've been hearing with increasing frequency at all levels of political discussion.  What exactly is the problem with unfunded mandates?