continued “It has a positive effect on students, but also has a direct effect on county government and eventually has a direct impact on local government. It makes a big difference,” McDonald said.
However, McDonald added there’s still a lot more that needs to be done.
“People are thinking school districts are free and in the clear. That’s not the case. They need to continue their advocacy and we need to continue to listen,” McDonald said. “Whatever we can do to help them get through some of their mandates that are really hurting them we need to be very sensitive to … try to keep focusing on the core elements of education.”
Ed Tremblay, City of Cohoes director of the community and economic development office, said he was pleased with the budget but added it still has “a ways to go.” He said Cohoes is working on affordable housing, with the high-end markets along the riverfronts being the biggest concentration of wealth in the city. He said the core downtown still has a lot of issues with older homes.
During the event, McCoy announced a spin up of the Federal Enhanced Medicaid Match Savings that will reduce the county’s Medicaid payments by 1.1 percent per week, a yearly savings of $500,000.
The county executive said he is personally pleased to see the budget has streamlined hunting and fishing licenses and reduced the license fees. This could attract non-residents to the state, who would need to pass through Albany County to go to the Adirondacks or Catskills, he said.
McCoy said the budget as a whole is a good start, but he still would like to see more relief for Albany County.
“As a county executive, I wanted to see more unfunded mandate relief. But this is a step. This is us working together to roll up the sleeves, leave the egos at the door … work for the constituents that we represent because we owe it to them,” McCoy said.