For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

WXXI NEWS PRESENTS A WEEKLONG SERIES OF REPORTS AND PROGRAMS THAT LOOKS AT NEW YORK STATE MANADATES

Series Kicks off Monday, January 10 on AM 1370 and WXXI.org

(Rochester, New York) January 6, 2011– As Governor Andrew Cuomo begins working to provide mandate relief for local governments and school districts, WXXI News presents Making Sense of Mandates, a weeklong series of reports and programs to shed light on what these mandates are. WXXI’s news team will also look at why these mandates are costing New York's taxpayers so much money, and who might suffer if they are lifted. The series launches Monday, January 10 during Morning Edition on AM 1370/FM-HD91.5-2, WRUR-FM 88.5 and online at WXXI.org.

Reports and interviews include:

• Monday, January 10:
Morning Edition at 6:35 a.m., 8:35 a.m.
WXXI News takes a look at a New York State mandate that will cost Monroe County taxpayers $14 million this year. The mandate supports sending children with disabilities to preschool programs, but the County is unable to negotiate costs, seek efficiencies, or determine eligibility standards. It wants the mandate lifted, but as WXXI's Carlet Cleare reports, that could have serious consequences for children and families. 

1370 Connection at 1 p.m. (on AM1370/FM-HD91.5-2)
Rochester City Mayor Tom Richards discusses mandates impacting city taxpayers with WXXI host Bob Smith.

• Tuesday, January 11:
Morning Edition at 6:35 a.m., 8:35 a.m.
The "burden of proof" mandate is supposed to help families obtain special education services for their school-age children. But as WXXI's Hélène Biandudi reports, the mandate has had an unintended impact that is costing taxpayers a lot of money.

• Wednesday, January 12:
Morning Edition -- 6:35 a.m., 8:35 a.m.
Unfunded mandates are a thorn in the side of local governments and school districts, but businesses are facing their own set of expensive requirements from New York State. They say that's hurting economic development, and ultimately costing everyone who lives here. WXXI's Innovation Trail Reporter Zack Seward examines a regulation that sets the wages private companies must pay when working on public projects.

1370 Connection at 1 p.m. (on AM1370/FM-HD91.5-2)
Rochester Council Member Carolee Conklin and City Budget Director William Ansbrow explain how mandates have helped create the city's nearly $50-million budget deficit.

• Thursday, January 13:
1370 Connection at 12 p.m. (on AM1370/FM-HD91.5-2)
Veteran New York State Assemblyman Joseph Morelle discusses the state's efforts to provide mandate relief.

1370 Connection at 1 p.m. (on AM1370/FM-HD91.5-2)
Rochester City School Board Member Willa Powell and Executive Director of the Monroe County School Boards Association Jody Siegle talk about the mandates burdening local schools.

• Friday, January 14:
1370 Connection at 1 p.m. (on AM1370/FM-HD91.5-2)
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks outlines how mandates are adding to county tax bills.

All reports will also be available online at WXXI.org/news.

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