Newly re-elected legislator Brooke Harris sent this letter to New York State Governor Hochul to open a new dialogue over Allegany County’s soaring Medicaid expense. Below is that letter and the draft resolution that Harris mentions in the letter. The legislator from District 5, explained his rationale for penning the letter:
“….I’m trying to uphold one of my New Year’s resolutions (and campaign promises): increasing advocacy efforts to reduce State and Federal mandates. Here’s the first of my letters to Governor Kathy Hochul. I tried to appeal to her love of the Buffalo Bills!”
January 11, 2022
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
New York State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224
Dear Governor Hochul:
I hope this letter finds you well. I’m writing to bring your attention to an issue with which you are very familiar: the incredible burden placed upon taxpayers by the local share of Medicaid expenses. This month, I intend to introduce a local resolution in the Allegany County Legislature urging you and the State Legislature to remedy the problem, and to reassume the State’s responsibility to pay its own bills. Allegany County’s contribution is staggering. In 2021, taxpayers were asked to subsidize the State with $8,418,951 to cover the local share. That accounted for over 28% of our tax levy, and 8.6% of our total budgeted annual expenses.
Please find enclosed a draft copy of the upcoming resolution. It’s my hope that you would be willing to provide me with a letter of support prior to its introduction in Belmont on January 26. We will be issuing a press release regarding our efforts and would love to have you on board supporting the cause.
For the first time in a long time (ever?), the State is running a surplus. There is no better time than now to push this issue. Our taxpayers need significant property tax relief and soon!
On another note, I’d like to congratulate you on your work thus far as Governor. Please know that despite some occasional differences in political ideology, the People of Western New York are proud to have one of their own in the Executive Chambers!
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Brooke Harris, Vice-Chairman
Allegany County Legislature