Letter: Bait and switch

Dear Editor,

Governor Hochul is not playing fair with local taxpayers. Rather than to do due diligence in controlling expenditures at the State level, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) this past week released that Governor Hochul has made an unprecedented shift of Federal healthcare funds intended for County Budgets and has instead opted to intercept $300 million and retain those funds at the State level; federal funds earmarked for local county budgets for their projected Medicaid costs.  

The increase of the projected Medicaid costs and those funds were built into the forming of all 62 of the 2023 county working budgets. Hochul instead has opted to move the ‘Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Program’ Funds expected by the counties and is re-(mis-)appropriating those funds into the State accounting budgets. 

This is a proposal not passed as of Feb. 6, 2023 for the state’s FY 2023 Budget, which begins April 1. Should these funds be withheld for disbursement to the counties, it will cause havoc with county budgets formally adopted in November 2022. Without prior notice to county managers in November, election month, it is not fair changing the rules after counties have passed their budgets and sent out their 2023 tax bills to cover the cost of meeting their local obligations. As a result, shortages occurring in 2023 will need to be assessed on tax bills in 2024. 

Contact your voice in Albany; Christopher Friend, State Assemblyman, at (518) 455-4538 and Lea Webb, State Senator, at (518) 455-2170.


Florence Alpert

Candor, N.Y. 

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