Palmesano: Governor heaps costs on local taxpayers

Staff reports
The Chronicle Express

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) hammered the governor’s latest Executive Order mandating that county boards of elections send a mailing to all voters outlining all of the deadlines associated with absentee, early, and in-person voting on Election Day. The governor’s order says the letter must be sent by September 8.

N.Y. Assemblyman Phil Palmesano

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” said Palmesano. “Our local counties have lost billions of dollars in sales tax revenue. For the governor to demand they do this without providing any funding for it is absurd. Additionally, they don’t have the time, resources, or personnel to undertake a project of this magnitude while they’re preparing for early voting, managing absentee ballot applications, and preparing for Election Day.

“The governor loves to complain about how Executive Orders from Washington are too costly for states or are unworkable. He should be the last person complaining about Executive Orders because this is another executive dictate. The governor is a hypocrite. If the governor thinks this is such a good idea and is necessary then he should have the state pay for it. This is another costly, unfunded mandate burdening counties and local property taxpayers that he knows cannot afford it. He doesn’t care. He is obsessed with getting good headlines and ambivalent about everything else, especially local property taxpayers who have to pay for his schemes,” said Palmesano.

Additionally, the Executive Order creates more bureaucratic red tape for boards by requiring them to submit new staffing plans for state approval, adopt brand new policies that will allegedly “speed up” vote counting and purchase costly new envelopes for absentee ballots.

“Our hardworking, local BOE officials know how to do their job. During this unprecedented time, they deserve more help and more resources from the state. Instead, the governor is assigning them work they couldn’t possibly do within timeframes they couldn’t possibly meet with money and resources they don’t have,” said Palmesano.