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 the last 3 week’s mandates, here, here and here)

1) Call Centers.  This legislative bill would mandate that telecommunication companies or utilities must place a call center within in-state service territories.  So a NYC based company could put a call center in Utica to take advantage of lower rents and services. This provides no benefit to company and in fact drives up customer costs.

2) Law Libraries in County Jails.  This mandate on local governments requires them to provide and pay for legal research material for inmates.  This mandate currently does not allow computers with legal information to count towards this requirement.  The cost of maintenance and security also add to the overall cost of county jails.

3) State Pensions.  Local governments can no longer afford to support generous pensions of years past for all its employees. Pensions and benefits used to compensate for low salaries in public sector jobs.  However, public sector employees are no longer making less than those employed in the private sector.

4) Medicaid.  Medicaid is the healthcare program for individuals with low income or low resources.  NY’s Medicaid program is the largest in the country and grows by hundreds of millions of dollars each year.  New York requires counties to cover about 25% of all Medicaid costs.  Local governments cannot support the growing cost of Medicaid.

5) Juvenile Detention Security.  This mandate on local governments requires counties to cover all the costs after a family court judge determines if an offender goes to a secure or a non secure detention facility.