Senate passes Griffo’s bill to protect municipalities and school districts from costly unfunded state mandates

The New York State Senate on Monday passed legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo that would help relieve the burden of unfunded mandates imposed by the state upon local governments, schools, and their taxpayers.
Every time the state enacts a new mandated program, all too often municipalities and school districts are left to find a way to pay for the new program. Senator Griffo’s bill (S2323) would require that certain state-mandated programs imposed on municipalities and school districts be funded by the state.
Senator Griffo’s bill was included among the more than a dozen bills passed Monday by the State Senate to reduce mandated costs and other expenses that drive up local taxes for municipalities, school districts, 
and their taxpayers. The mandate relief measures will reduce paperwork, promote efficiency, and help local governments save millions of dollars.
“Local municipalities and school districts best know the needs of their communities, and Albany should not tell them how to spend their limited taxpayer dollars,” said Senator Griffo, R-Rome. “These unfunded mandates are crippling localities throughout my district and across New York State, and they should have the freedom to decide what priorities and services are worth funding. By passing this legislation, the Senate is once again sending the clear message that if the state wants to tell municipalities and school districts what to do, then the state should be willing to provide the proper funding to relieve this burden from local taxpayers.”
State mandated programs place local taxpayers and local officials in the position of paying for services they did not budget for, Senator Griffo said. The end result is that municipalities and school district often find themselves reluctantly having to impose more taxes on its residents to pay for programs and services they otherwise may not have wanted. Under the provisions of Senator Griffo’s bill, the education law is amended so that no unfunded mandate will be enacted if it creates a net additional cost on any school district or local government.
The legislation will now be sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica.

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