Since 2011, Senate President Sweeney has been advancing legislation (S-1) to encourage shared services by making various civil service reforms, but would permit the state to withhold state aid from municipalities that did not implement a shared service agreement. For the past 10 years the League has been working with the Senate President to address municipal concerns. While the intent of legislation has always been to encourage sharing of services, over the years the bill has undergone amendments on various issues, such as civil service reforms, some of which we viewed positively and some less so. The one constant that has remained is the voter penalty – if the voters reject a recommendation of Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization, and Consolidation Commission (LUARCC) then the municipality would lose state aid (ERT/CMPTRA) equal to the amount of savings LUARCC certifies the municipality would have if they enacted the shared services.
Given the significant number of amendments Senate President Sweeney and cosponsor Senator Vin Gopal have made to address our concerns both on the Civil Service reforms and the LUARCC process, the League, after a review of the latest amendments with League leadership, will be taking a neutral position on the bill. We still continue to express our objections to the penalty, especially if the voters reject the recommendation, and the stick approach to shared services instead of the carrot. Please see our recent blog post for information on the provisions of S-1 related to shared service Civil Service reforms, Labor Issues, and LUARCC.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x112.