posted on May 15, 2012 11:04
Genesee County Officials held a "Mayday" for mandate relief rally near the steps of the old court house Monday. The officials were calling on the state government to help with rising mandate costs.
Governor Cuomo already agreed to help with the costs in 2013, but local lawmakers say that’s not soon enough. The rally seemed to highlight a few mandates, but much emphasis was placed on the cost of Medicaid.
Legislative Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock said mandates like Medicaid take up the bulk of their budget and they are left with very little to operate.
"Just to illustrate it's over a billion dollars a week that New York State spends for Medicaid, so it's enormously expensive. The program has every option that is possible by the federal government, but that's the States program, okay, if they would like to do it that way that's okay, but they have to pay for their decisions," said Hancock.
In Genesee County over 8,000 people use Medicaid and each week the county pays the state $185,572 for the plan.
County Manager Jay Gsell said they are forced to pay for the mandate and to try not to cut any other programs in the process.
"In almost every State in the union no local governments are paying anything close to the amount of Medicaid dollars that Genesee County and the other 57 counties in New YorkState does. That's the thing that we're finding ourselves choking more and more on," said Gsell.
Gsell said the rally was necessary to get the attention of the State Legislature to work on more mandate relief before they end their session in June.
Similar mandate relief rallies are being done in other counties across the State.