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Mandate Relief Council Holds First Meeting on LI

Recently, the New York State Mandate Council met on Long Island for the first time, at SUNY Old Westbury to hear testimony from local government leaders on ideas for mandate relief measures.

The council was created as a means to review certain mandates that are placed on school districts and local governments to see if there are regulations that can be changed or eliminated in order to provide relief to local communities.

Senator Jack M. Martins, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, was appointed to the council and is its only Long Island member.

Among those that testified were Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Village of Farmingdale Mayor George Starkie, Long Island Association President Kevin Law as well as school board members from Baldwin, Bayport-Blue Point and South Huntington.

“One of the great achievements of last year was the creation of the Mandate Relief Council. This is a first step. This council will have the opportunity to address mandates systemically,” said Senator Martins.

The meeting can be seen on the Mandate Relief Council website (under “Calendar) at www.governor.ny.gov/mandatereliefcouncil. In addition, community members and local officials can submit ideas for mandate relief that will be reviewed by the council on the website.

The council will review specific mandates identified by members of the council, local governments, or school districts. After considering public comment on each mandate, the council determines whether it is being imposed in an “unsound, unduly burdensome or costly manner so as to necessitate that it be eliminated or reformed.”

If the council makes such a determination, it may:

• refer a local government to the appropriate state agency to petition for regulatory flexibility;
• upon a two-thirds vote, refer a regulation to be repealed or modified; or
• upon a vote of seven members, refer a statute to be repealed or modified.

In addition, local governments and school districts may appeal to the council to review a state agency determination on the local government’s or school district’s petition for regulatory flexibility. The council may affirm, reject, or modify the agency’s determination.