An idea for mandate relief from St. Lawrence County Legislator Board of Legislators Chairman Kevin Acres, has officially become New York State law.
The bill (S2904A), sponsored by State Senator Patty Ritchie, eases mandates on local municipalities with vehicle fleets by eliminating the requirement that a local agency must file numerous “hauling permits” every year for each vehicle and trailer in its fleet.
“The amount of time employees will save by not having to continually repeat this mundane process will allow them to focus on the important aspects of their jobs, bettering the lives of our taxpayers,” said St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators Chairman Kevin Acres. “It is fantastic to know Senator Ritchie understands the struggles these unnecessary mandates force upon local municipalities and by working together, we can come up with common-sense solutions.”
“From the day I took office, eliminating unnecessary and time-consuming mandates has been a priority of mine. This bill not only accomplishes that, but by taking one more item off the plate of our overworked local governments, we are ensuring that time and resources can be better used to improve the lives of our hardworking, overburdened taxpayers. I appreciate Chairman Acres for bringing the idea for this bill to my attention,” Senator Ritchie said.
Approximately 2,000 municipalities and school districts in New York State own and operate a number of vehicles and trailers for a variety of reasons, including street repairs and hauling equipment.
While municipalities are not required to pay fees to register the vehicles, the New York State Department of Transportation did require them to file each of them to file separate paperwork, known as “hauling permits” for each vehicle and trailer, and keep those documents available for inspection, and to do so annually.
For agencies with roughly 35 vehicles, that meant filling out 300 separate forms each year to detail every possible combination of truck or trailer or other piece of equipment, they might use on a project that year.
Through this new law, the annual requirement would be eliminated, municipalities would only need to obtain “hauling permits” one time, and those permits would be valid until the municipality removes the vehicle from operation.
Acres presented the idea to Senator Ritchie through her “Mandate Relief Working Group.” Made up of representatives from county, village and town governments as well as school districts, the group offers recommendations on mandates that New York needs to abolish or change to help local governments reduce costs to taxpayers.
In addition to saving county employees time, this measure also frees up NYSDOT employees from having to collect, file, review and store these non-essential documents.
Assemblyman William Magnarelli sponsored the bill in the Assembly.