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Governor outlines plan for New York. Local supervisors optimistic

TICONDEROGA - While optimistic, local leaders are waiting for some definitive action following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's first State of the State address.

"I think the governor is definitely on the right track," Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. "I think he'll be bipartisan and the Senate and Assembly will work together. The real credit for cooperation, though, goes to our constituents who sent a message last fall that they're tired of things as they are."

Cuomo proposed to cut state agencies by 20 percent, enact a state worker pay freeze, pursue ways to reduce costly state mandates on local government, and to redesign Medicaid, which now represents about half the cost of county government expenditures in New York State as he outlined steps to lead New York out of its multi-billion-dollar budget gap.

The plan called for imposing a one-year salary freeze on a large portion of public employees, capping state taxes and imposing a state spending cap at the rate of inflation.

Those are all good ideas, supervisors said.

"I support the property tax cap, but the state has to give us the tools to make it happen," Scozzafava said. "They have to make it less difficult for us to share services."

The Moriah supervisor said there many instances that towns, villages, school districts and fire districts could save money, but state law doesn't allow one taxing district to assist another.

"Why should the school have to go out and buy a plow and a sander when I have five of them sitting at the town garage?" Scozzafava asked. "When our plows drive through the village (Port Henry) to get to the other side of town we have to lift our plows. Some of these archaic laws have to be changed."

Scozzafava also urged the governor to review highway funding in the state. Towns now raise highway money through local property tax.

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