Following up on a proposal to found a Financial Restructuring Board, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has provided more information about the plan to help distressed New York municipalities and counties.
Cuomo first announced the board in his State of the State speech in January. In the week of May 17 he said the fiscal 2014 budget is expected to include up to $80 million assisting local governments with reorganization plans.
Board recommendations would be binding on any municipality that accepts funding.
The state legislature must approve the board before it takes effect.
The board may require the development of multi-year financial plans, functional consolidation, mergers, shared services, fewer elected officials, and other measures.
“Growing retirement costs, declining populations, decreasing property values, and the recent fiscal crisis have all contributed to the difficult financial issues facing localities today,” Cuomo said. “The Financial Restructuring Board will bring together state and local officials to help localities make tough decisions and solve this crisis now instead of kicking the can down the road.”
The board will include the state budget director, secretary of state, attorney general, comptroller, and a private sector restructuring professional. The budget director would establish standards to determine which local governments qualify as fiscally distressed.
Local governments could request the board’s assistance.