January 3, 2017
Picente Statement On Governor’s Veto Of The Public Defense Mandate Relief Act
“I'm beyond disappointed to see the Governor veto such an important piece of unanimous bi-partisan legislation. Not only would this bill have provided for a fairer form of public justice, as outlined in the Hurrell-Harring court settlement, but would've brought, long sought after, true mandate relief. I'm also confused by the Governor's reasoning claiming this would transfer an obligation to state taxpayers to pay for this cost. Every county taxpayer is a state taxpayer.
This veto continues to place a state mandated tax burden on local levels of government who can least afford to pay it. Currently 9 state mandated programs take up over 90% of county budgets. Oneida County is a statewide leader in consolidation and shared services yet we still cannot keep up with state mandates. This was a pragmatic way to assist every taxpayer in the state and instead we are faced with another missed opportunity on mandate and tax relief.”