Local officials worry as Gov. Cuomo puts final touches on budge - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Local officials worry as Gov. Cuomo puts final touches on budget proposal

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Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino is concerned with how Cuomo's budget proposal will affect her county. Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino is concerned with how Cuomo's budget proposal will affect her county.
Assemblyman John McDonald also expressed support for mandate relief. Assemblyman John McDonald also expressed support for mandate relief.
Barbara Bartoletti with the League of Women Voters says education advocates will be paying close attention. Barbara Bartoletti with the League of Women Voters says education advocates will be paying close attention.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Cuomo's recent State of the State address outlined a few very ambitious proposals for 2013, and with New York facing a $1 billion deficit, all eyes will now once again be on Cuomo as he outlines how he intends to pay for them Tuesday.

Among those who will be paying close attention, Rensselaer county Executive Kathy Jimino, who hopes the governor will include mandate relief.

"In Rensselaer County, 89 cents of every dollar that we raise locally goes to pay for state and federal mandates," said Jimino.

This leaves Rensselaer County with only 11 cents out of every dollar. Jimino explains that money goes toward what many residents would consider essential services.

"We have to pay for senior services, we have to provide veterans services. We have to put out a sheriffs road patrol. We have to maintain our streets, our bridges, ours roads," said Jimino.

She calls it unsustainable and says it could ultimately keep families and businesses out of the area.

"The long term game plan should be to reduce the burden on our taxpayers, to reduce the property taxes so New York can be competitive and New York can really be open for business," said Jimino.

Assemblyman John McDonald also expressed support for mandate relief. As Mayor of Cohoes for 13 years, he too knows about the burdens the state puts on local municipalities.

"There's really not much more we can do. Revenues are still lagging behind, so therefore we need to have the tools to cut the expenses," said McDonald.

Only his second week in office, McDonald says if the governor doesn't move on mandate relief, he's doubtful the legislature will. He cites how challenging labor negotiations can be in regards to pensions and health care.

"I don't see a major temperature to deal with larger issues in regards to labor," said. McDonald.

The governor also outlined an ambitious education plan in his state of the state, proposing more time in the classroom and making pre-kindergarten more widely available -- explaining that the state would foot the bill.

Barbara Bartoletti with the League of Women Voters says education advocates will be paying close attention.

"School districts are having a really awful time across this state and they are certainly going to be looking to see if he puts more money into education," said Bartoletti.

As for Jimino, since the governor chose not to address mandate relief in his state of the state, she told NEWS10 she's keeping her expectations low.

"Let's find a way to provide enough mandate relief to keep the costs level and that would be a great place to start. Then we wouldn't have to look at increasing taxes yet again or cutting local services," said Jimino.

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