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Gov. Cuomo outlines 2012 NY budget plan

Local leaders happy with Medicaid relief proposal

— “It will put people to work, that's what we need right now in New York,” said Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, who represents Hamilton and Warren counties, most of Essex County and part of Saratoga County.

The Medicaid relief is also planned to included a phased takeover of administrative costs by the state, according to Sayward, who said, “That will be significant for our counties.”

“He's putting this budget together with no new taxes, with is huge for small businesses throughout New York,” said Sayward.

Also big for small business should be the implementation of a federal program for medical insurance purchasers that will drop private buyers' costs by 66 percent and small-business buyers' costs by 22 percent.

Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, who represents Clinton and Franklin counties plus St. Armand in Essex, said the Medicaid mandate relief will translate directly to relief for property owners.

“The counties would like to have the state pick up all the costs,” Duprey said, “but that's not going to happen.”

Duprey was happy to hear that no prisons would be closed.

“Everybody worries about it after last year when he closed seven,” she said.

The SUNY and CUNY schools will get their 2.2 percent increase, an important issue in the North Country with three community colleges (North Country, Clinton and Adirondack) and SUNY Plattsburgh.

“For the most part we're seeing our funding held fairly level. We're not seeing any drastic cuts,” she said. “Is that good? You betcha.”

State Sen. Betty Little, who represents northeast New York, had great praise for the new pension option.

“It's very important to young people, who are much more mobile than they were 20 years ago,” Little said.

Current state options require a decade of work before pensions become available. With the new pension tier, modeled after TIAA-CREF, a few years of work will yield a pension account that workers can take with them as their career shifts.

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