Friday, 18 February 2011 00:00
Senator Carl L. Marcellino announced that he will be holding a Public Hearing on the Consolidation of New York State Agencies on March 7 at 11 a.m. in Albany, to examine the impact of proposed agency consolidations on the affected agencies, delivery of services, the State workforce and citizens.
Governor Cuomo’s proposed 2011-12 budget would consolidate 11 agencies, divisions and offices to four agencies. The Department of Correctional Services and the Division of Parole would be joined to form the new Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. A new Division of Criminal Justice Services would be created from the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Office of Victim Services, the State Commission of Correction, and the Division of Criminal Justice Services. The Department of Banking, Department of Insurance, and State Consumer Protection Board would be merged to form a new Department of Financial Regulation. In addition, the Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation would be merged into the current Empire State Development Corporation.
“We have to look to make sure that this consolidation is just that, a reduction of the size and scope of government, it is making it smaller, yes, but at the same time it has to be made more efficient,” said Senator Marcellino, chairman of the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee.
While the legislative budget hearings held in February did produce some more details on these proposed consolidations, a number of issues and questions have arisen concerning these affected agencies. The purpose of this hearing is to assist the Legislature in identifying and learning about concerns on the delivery of services, the state workforce and cost savings.
“The nationwide recession has made it clear that state government needs to do all that they can to reduce costs and lessen the financial burden on taxpayers. It’s just the right thing to do for the taxpayers to make State Government more efficient to look at combining agencies and merging services and garnering potential savings to the taxpayer,” concluded Senator Marcellino.