Submitted by the New York State Association of Counties
The New York State Association of Counties has released its 2022 legislative program, which lays out the top priorities for New York’s counties for the upcoming state legislative session. The program includes proposed policies and legislation to restore local control over sales tax, invest in public health, and help counties deliver services with improved efficiency and lower cost to local taxpayers.
“For the last 20 months, counties have led the local response to a national emergency and proved that, whether it’s protecting public health and safety, rebuilding infrastructure, protecting the environment, or providing social safety net services, its counties that get it done,” said NYSAC President Marte Sauerbrey, the Tioga County chairwoman. “As we enter yet another year of battling the pandemic while working to rebuild and strengthen our communities, we’re asking our partners at the state level to provide the resources, flexibility and local control that counties need to serve our residents, while protecting local taxpayers.”
This legislative program is developed every year by county delegates in collaboration with NYSAC staff and reflects the need for specific state or federal action. These priority issues have a direct impact on local governments, local businesses and county residents.
The legislative program highlights counties’ top 5 priorities for 2022:
√ Ending county sales tax diversion for State Aid to Municipalities (AIM)
√ Ensuring the county sales tax diversion for distressed hospital facilities sunsets
√ Making counties whole for federal enhanced Medicaid funds
√ Investing in local county health departments
√ Reforming the treatment of individuals deemed incompetent to stand trial
The 2022 legislative program also details challenges and policy recommendations on a variety of policy areas impacting county government, including: children with special needs, higher education and community colleges, economic development and agriculture, the environment, gaming, general government, human services, the judiciary, local finance and tax relief, Medicaid, public employee relations, public health, mental health, public infrastructure and transportation, public safety, and veterans’ issues.
“While 2022 promises to present continued challenges from coronavirus variants and the economic shockwaves from the pandemic, it also holds immense potential to work with our partners in the state legislature and our governor to reimagine the relationship between state and local governments,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “We have a unique opportunity to restore balance and fairness on issues of taxation and health care funding, increase the flexibility to achieve more efficiency in mandated services, and secure investments in infrastructure and environmental sustainability.”