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NEW LAW ALLOWS VOTERS TO FORCE BALLOT VOTE ON CONSOLIDATION OF GOVERNMENTS
Release Date: June 04, 2009

The New York State Senate joined the New York State Assembly in approving a historic new law that will enable voters to collect petition signatures to consolidate local governments, fire and special taxing districts.  After petition signatures are collected - consolidation initiatives would be voted on by the people impacted.  New York State has more than 10,500 governments that impose taxes and fees. This law makes it easier for the public to decide what level of government they want. It provides the voters with a mechanism to reduce the costs of government and local property taxes by making government more efficient.
The bill was initiated by the Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo. School districts are exempt from the bill. I am disappointed that county governments are also exempt--I have suggested that a study be completed to determine whether county government should be eliminated or merged with other counties (Connecticut, much of Massachusetts and Rhode Island have no county governments,  This new law should provide the public with the ability to eliminate waste, inefficiency and duplication. Congratulations to our state lawmakers.
PAUL FEINER



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