Rensselaer County Legislature
Office of the Minority 270-2890
Minority Leader Peter Grimm 265-6451 Deputy Minority Leader Edward Manny 272-7396
Cynthia Doran 271-2365 Mark Fleming 928-7054
Gary Pavlic 368-4656 Leonard Welcome 944-1648
For Immediate Release
Date: December 8, 2016
Rensselaer County Legislature – Office of the Minority urges Governor Cuomo to sign Indigent Legal Defense reform
In a letter sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo today, the Rensselaer County Minority Legislature has urged him to sign Assembly Bill A10706 (https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2015/a10706/amendment/original) bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFransisco and Assembly Member Pat Fahy. The legislation requires state reimbursement to counties in the full amount of expenditures for indigent legal services. “This legislation will provide much needed mandate relief to Rensselaer County especially as the cost of providing Indigent Legal Defense Services continues to increase” said Legislator Mark Fleming.
Indigent Legal Defense is a State responsibility that was shifted to Counties in the 1960’s and consumes 100% of County property taxes collected statewide (outside of NYC). With the State imposed property tax cap, the growth of these expenses are becoming unmanageable to Counties. If signed, this bill would call for a 7-year State takeover of these costs and therefore result in property tax relief for homeowners and businesses in our Counties.