Message from the Chair...
Earlier this year Speaker Silver appointed me as Chairman of the Assembly
Standing Committee on Local Governments. I am extremely honored to have the
Speaker’s confidence, and look forward to the challenges of this committee.
Prior to my election to the Assembly in 1988, I served for 14 ˝ years as the
Lindenhurst Village Clerk. During my tenure as clerk I also served as President
of the New York State Association of City and Village Clerks. Prior to my
current appointment I served as Chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on
Small Business and Chairman of the Legislative Commission on Science and
As Chairman I will work to provide local governments with additional flexibility
and keep in mind that one size does not fit all. I will also work to implement
policies that help to improve the efficiency of and provide elasticity for our
The current legislative session has presented a host of new challenges for New
York’s local governments. Please know that my door is always open to you; do not
hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
Robert K. Sweeney, Chairman
Assembly Standing Committee on Local Governments
The enacted budget will maintain Revenue Sharing funding at last year’s funding
level of $781,322,000. This program funds the general needs of municipalities, except
Supplemental Municipal Aid
This aid program targets funding to specific municipalities with demonstrated need.
For fiscal year 2002-2003 the enacted budget contains funding of $182,874,000, which
represents a decrease of $6,160,000 in funding from last year’s enacted budget. This
decrease represents the elimination of aid to those counties, towns and villages
which had previously received funding through this category.
Emergency Financial Aid To Certain Cities
In 1975, the Legislature authorized the Emergency Financial Aid to Certain Cities Act
(Overburden Aid) to provide special assistance to cities with populations of at least
100,000 but less than one million that had to finance a school system as well as
general city government, and were at, or near their constitutional tax limits (Albany,
Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers). These municipalities have a State
constitutional real property tax limit of two percent, which restricts the amount of
revenue they can raise to support both municipal services and city school districts.
The enacted budget contains funding of $26,474,000, which maintains funding at the
same level as the previous fiscal year.
Emergency Financial Assistance To Eligible Municipalities
The Emergency Financial Assistance to Eligible Municipalities Program was initiated to
provide additional aid to Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Yonkers and Erie County. The cities
of Syracuse and Rochester were subsequently added to the list of municipalities
receiving aid. Since 1980, this program has assisted localities demonstrating financial
need and facing fiscal difficulties due to constitutional tax limitations. The enacted
budget contains $20,814,000 in funding, which maintains funding at the same level as
the previous fiscal year.
Aid To Counties
This unrestricted aid program, called Aid to Counties, was enacted in State Fiscal Year
(SFY) 2000-2001, to provide counties outside New York City with additional financial
aid. Aid distribution is outlined in Section 54-k of the State Finance Law and specifies
distribution based on population. For SFY 2002-2003, the enacted budget contained $22
million in funding, an increase of $5 million above the appropriation of $17 million
for SFY 2001-2002.
The enacted budget transfers $23,888,000 from the Consolidated Highway Improvement
Program (CHIPS) operating aid for towns and villages to the CHIPS Capital program and
maintains overall funding at last year’s level.
Volunteer Recruitment Service Scholarship Program
The enacted budget includes $2 million in funding for the Volunteer Recruitment Service
Scholarship Program to boost the ranks of firefighter and ambulance volunteers. Each
Volunteer Organization may submit one volunteer’s name for the program, and volunteers
must continue to be active in the fire or ambulance company while attending college.