What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

December 10, 1999

Municipalities, school boards back Council's call for mandate reform

Signaling new momentum for mandate relief in Albany, advocates for the state's school boards and municipalities praised a new study on state mandates by The Public Policy Institute, and urged lawmakers to enact the kind of mandate reform proposed in the study.

The book, The $163 Lightbulb: How Albany's Mandates Drive Up Your Local Taxes, shows that New York could cut local taxes by $5 billion a year and improve education and other services through mandate reform.

At a Nov. 29 press conference at which The Institute released the book, Robert Ward, director of research for The Institute and author of the book, was joined by representatives of the state Conference of Mayors, Association of Counties, Association of Towns, and School Boards Association.

Mandate relief is a key to reducing property taxes in New York—one of The Council's top priorities.

Edward C. Farrell, executive director of the Conference of Mayors, called unwise mandates a leading cause of New York's reputation as the state with the highest local tax burden.

He urged reform of mandates governing public construction, and of laws requiring binding arbitration in negotiating certain public employee contracts.

Timothy G. Kremer, executive director of the School Boards Association, called for reform of the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law, which hampers school districts' ability to negotiate with teachers' unions; laws that make the process by which teachers are disciplined too costly and too time-consuming; and tenure and teacher certification laws.