The state’s 2011-12 budget and how a proposed property tax cap and state mandate relief may fit in were among the topics that local government officials discussed with state Assemblyman Robert Oaks (R-C Macedon) at a series of meetings he hosted in the district during the past two weeks. The assemblyman invited representatives to give them an opportunity to hear firsthand about critical issues on the agenda in Albany that will impact localities in the 128th Assembly District. He also wanted the representatives to share their input on mandates that should be targeted for relief as part of the 2011-12 state budget. Assemblyman Oaks said with the idea of reform gaining traction in Albany, “This is our best chance to cut spending, reduce mandates and change the direction the state is headed.” “Governor Cuomo’s state budget proposal is a dose of reality and begins to reverse the years of unsustainable state spending,” the assemblyman said. “At the same time, I am concerned with some of the initial budget numbers. I have been calling for a fair and open budget process that does not unduly impact one region greater than another.” Questions about highway funding, trimming Medicaid, getting a handle on retirement costs, preventing a shift of fiscal responsibility to localities and assuring that state funds promised to municipalities are delivered in a timely fashion were some of the topics that the local representatives raised with Assemblyman Oaks. Several officials said they appreciated being able to meet with the assemblyman in a small group atmosphere, where they could ask questions and share concerns about issues facing Wayne County and their individual municipalities. Assemblyman Oaks said he would continue discussions with representatives regarding the state budget and how it will impact localities.  

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