SIGN BEST4NY’S MANDATE RELIEF PETITION AND UNITE WITH THE NYSSBA, THE NEW YORK STATE SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION (no. 114), 5 NYS ASSEMBLYMEN, AND LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS

BEST4NY has launched an online Mandate Relief Petition addressed to our state government. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO READ AND SIGN THE MANDATE RELIEF PETITION or fol

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ow this link directly to the signature page: Sign the petition The 1100+ (as of today) signatures include the NYSSBA; NYS Assemblymen Robert Castelli, Steve McLaughlin, Steve Katz, Ray Walter, Jane Corwin; and many elected school and town board members around NYS. Other endorsing organizations are New Yorkers for Growth, American for Prosperity (NY Chapter), and Unshackle Upstate.

Last May 15, NYS voters voted on local school budgets. Voters and school boards (and town boards and county legislatures) tend to focus on the here and now and are very unhappy about teacher layoffs occurring across NYS. But the current layoffs are the tip of the iceberg – ask your school board to be honest about their future layoff projections, if nothing is done to curb the Layoff Legislature’s uncontrolled mandated spending. Bedford Central School District last March courageously projected future cuts of 70 staff positions ANNUALLY, unless things change. The NYS Legislature has become the T.U.A., the Teachers’ Unemployment Agency.

To limit uncontrolled state spending and reduce the teacher layoffs you’ll be voting on next year, Sign the petition . Voter inaction is forfeiting the game and perpetuates the destructive status quo. Multiply your effort simply by asking a spouse, family member, friend, or neighbor to sign as well (2 people should not sign on the same line – that only counts as one signature). Follow the example of the New York State School Boards Association which represents over 700 school boards and 5,000 school board members across NYS and which signed the petition on line no. 114.

And finally, call or email your school board and town board to support their efforts and need for Mandate Relief. Join forces with them to inform and mobilize your local voters to insist upon meaningful mandate reform from the majority of NYS Senators and Assemblymen who oppose mandate relief.

Ask your local board members to sign the petition also – they are voters, too, and for years the Legislature has ignored their requests for mandate relief. The local spending cuts imposed by your local officials are driven by the Layoff Legislature’s escalating spending. After limiting local government spending, but not its own spending, the Layoff Legislature should not escape accountability by camouflaging its spending in local budgets and hiding behind local officials who lack legal power to force the Legislature to play by the same spending rules which the Legislature imposed on local governments.

As Rensselaear County Executive Jimino explains so well, it’s like 3 people going out for dinner, 2 ordering burgers to save money (local governments), but the 3rd eating surf and turf (the NYS Legislature) and then insisting that the total bill be split 3 ways.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has said (see video) that “Albany legislators are spending addicts.” When the Legislature reduces its state budget spending, but allows its mandated state spending hidden in local budgets to escalate uncontrollably, it’s a case of spending addicts reducing their public drinking, while continuing to drink to excess in private.

Still undecided whether to sign? Watch the video of the League of Women's Voters' Unfunded Mandates Public Forum in Rye on 4/21/12 at http://vimeo.com/41332643 Speakers included (minute 13:05) Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino followed by (minute 20:50) Rye Brook Mayor Joan Feinstein, followed by Rye Neck Union Free School District Superintendent Peter Mustich.

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