Livingston County releases state legislative agenda
10-point plan pushes for broadband expansion, mandate relief
GENESEO — Livingston County adopted its 2021 New York State Legislative Agenda during its February Board of Supervisors meeting.
The plan, drawn from resident, Department Head, Board and Administrator input, is the County's single, comprehensive advocacy statement to the Governor and State Legislature on matters of importance to Livingston County.
The County's 10-point plan includes: Light Up Livingston, the County’s rural broadband initiative; property tax relief via mandate reform; amendments to criminal justice reform; financial support for the County’s critical infrastructure as well as its economic and community development endeavors; comments on marijuana legalization and gaming; fair online sales tax collection practices; preservation of supplemental payments to public nursing homes; and the easing of restrictions on local home rule revenue measures.
Board of Supervisors Chairman, David LeFeber, commented, “As the legislative session gets more involved, and the powers that be in Albany debate legislation and budgetary matters, it is critically important to let our Governor and representatives know that the voice of the people matters. The mission of this agenda is simple – Livingston County's voice and our Board's positions on matters will be heard and this agenda and accompanying resolution makes that so."
The State Legislature is in session through June 10. The State Budget is due to be adopted by March 31.
“So much of our County's budget and our county operations are intertwined with State government," said Ian M. Coyle, County Administrator. "This legislative agenda details what we want from our Governor and Legislature, and in some cases what we do not want. State actions impact local residents greatly. Just within the last year, the State swept over $800,000 in sales tax dollars rightfully due Livingston County, to pay for State obligations. We need to fight for good government in Albany and push for sound fiscal management and this plan advocates for our agenda items in a concise, succinct and professional manner."
County welcomes introduction of coronavirus relief package
At the federal level, Livingston County welcomed the Feb. 9 introduction of a bill that includes the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, part of the next potential round of COVID-19 federal relief.
These funds would provide $350 billion in aid to state, local and territorial governments – including millions projected for Livingston County – to help cover increased expenditures, replenish lost revenue, and mitigate economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This bill recognizes Livingston County’s important role in mitigating COVID-19 and supports the essential frontline services we deliver," Coyle said. “Livingston County is fully committed to working in a bipartisan fashion with Congress and the new administration to secure direct, flexible and equitable funding for counties of all sizes so that, together, we can keep our residents healthy, our communities safe, and our economy vibrant.
"The key term is direct in that these dollars should rightly flow directly to their intended recipients, county governments, and not be bottlenecked in any way with unnecessary involvement by state governments in the distribution and control of these funds."