We spend a lot of time talking about mandate relief.  Probably more than we should.  But mandates are just so…costly that we are compelled to cover them.

So what is a mandate?  A mandate is a law or regulation passed by the legislature that often must be implemented by local agencies with no funding from the state.

But what exactly are we talking about when we say it’s important for the State of New York?  For the next few weeks, we will be posting one mandate every week day as an example of how mandates impact our businesses and local governments.  They raise costs, delay projects, and complicate matters for no reason.  They are…well…BURDONESOME!

We hope that you will continue to return to this page for more information (and a full list of mandates) as they are released.  And we really hope that you will share it with your friends, family and colleagues. (you can see last week’s mandates, here)

1) Triborough Amendment.  This mandate on local governments and school boards removes their ability to negotiate contract terms.  Employees still receive pay increases even if a new contract is not in place and even if they cannot be afforded.  Seem fair to you?

2)  Workers Compensation.  Former Gov. Spitzer made changes to the workers compensation that were meant to lower the cost to employers and get people back to work.  The reforms have not worked and we need to make this a focus in 2012.  The 2007 reforms made the system more expensive.  Now we need medical guidelines and treatment protocols implemented to lower costs, improve care, and get people back to work.

3) 18a Assessment.  This mandate on New Yorkers imposes an extra charge on utility bills for everyone.  And that money doesn’t go to make energy cheaper or to improve the energy grid.  It is just added to the state’s General Fund to offset spending increases.  Energy is already too expensive in NY.  Time to repeal 18A

4) Diesel Emission Reduction Act.  This mandate on businesses and local governments requires all on and off-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles owned or under contract to NYS to use ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and be fitted with retrofit technologies.  This is cost prohibitive to small businesses who then can’t work for the state, and contractors are forced to raise their prices making all projects more expensive.

5) SEQR.  This mandate on businesses and construction projects impedes development, increases costs, and drives away businesses as multiple reviews of project sites are required.  Further, with no timelines to follow, there is little incentive for the state or local agency to move projects along.