O'Mara And Palmesano Are Backing County Clerks Statement
County Clerks: Unfunded Mandates Will Result
January 31, 2013
HORNELL, NY - When details of the Safe New York Act first came out, it appeared to many that New York State Police were going to be doing a lot of the work involved with the new gun control laws. However, there is now some question about that. County clerks in New York State have issued a statement, complaining that State Police want the county clerks to perform duties such as recertification, and in some cases, registration. Area state lawmakers and county clerks alike are voicing concerns about the strong possibility of unfunded mandates as a result of county clerks having to do more work, with the state shifting costs to county clerks.
So whose supposed to be handling these duties? Allegany County Clerk Rob Christman (R, Belmont) maintains that he’s getting conflicting directions from the state. "We really don't know what they want us to do," Christman told WLEA/WCKR News this evening. Steuben County Clerk Judith Hunter (R, Bath) agrees. "There are conflicting statements and information that's being passed from agency to agency, and there's no clear direction at this time," Mrs. Hunter explained.
One thing that the county clerks have agreed on: they don't want to have to perform duties that they believe the state police should be doing. County Clerk Hunter, who says she attended the county clerk's meeting in Albany this week, says that a representative from the state police indicated that recertification would be done by county clerks. "The statute, as it's written, as I understand, is very clear that the recertification would be done by state police," Mrs. Hunter stated.
Both State Senator Tom O'Mara (R, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R, Corning) are backing the county clerk's assocation on this issue. "They're absolutely right that any efforts to put these responsibilities on to the county clerks will be an unfunded mandate, which I oppose at all levels," said State Senator Tom O'Mara.
"The county clerks are 100% percent right in their position, and I share that position," said Assemblyman Phil Palmesano. "This is the governor's program, this is his bill, and the state should fully fund any parts of this operation," Palmesano told WLEA/WCKR News.