On 1/19/11 New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a website of his Mandate Relief Design Team. The team has been formed to look into unfunded and underfunded mandates imposed by New York State on school districts and local governments. Mandates are described as legal requirements local districts must provide in programs, projects, and activities on behalf of the state.
With the struggling economy and a tax base being stressed, local districts have been forced to make cuts and layoffs. With the loss of resources it has become difficult to meet mandates, running the risk of financial penalty. According to a Governor’s office news release, unfunded and underfunded mandates drive up costs to local districts and local property tax. Due in part to these mandates, New York is one of the highest taxed states in the country.
The web site can be found at http://governor.ny.gov/mandaterelief. Public participation is encouraged and electronic forms are available on the website for suggestions and input.