Albany Law School Professor Patricia Salkin told the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates on Aug. 3 of the dire need for federal distributive funding. Salkin's work over the last three years with local governments on shared services, cooperative efforts, consolidations and dissolutions helped her make a strong case for the federal distributive funding, a resolution developed and sponsored by the State and Local Government Law Section of the ABA.
Salkin, the Raymond & Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of Albany Law's Government Law Center, addressed the ABA with Albany Law School adjunct professor Kenneth Bond.
Salkin noted the unfunded federal mandates as one contributing factor to the dire economic condition of local governments across the country, another area she has worked in through the Center. A past chair of the Section, and a current Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, Salkin said that municipal bonds, typically considered secure by the financial community, are now often considered a risky investment, due to high foreclosure rates, defaults on municipal tax payments and rising costs contributing to significant budget imbalances. This is leading to the failure of local governments to fund the Rule of Law.
Salkin said that last week, the New York Times reported that Jefferson County in Alabama no longer had funds to bury the indigent deceased and to staff the kitchen to feed 28 juveniles in a detention facility, and the family court administrators reported plans to delay child support, child abuse and custody hearings, leaving children in the hands of the State indefinitely.
The drafting of the Resolution and accompanying report was lead by Kenneth Bond, who teaches State and Local Finance at Albany Law School.
For a live video recording of the address on the first day of the two-day event, click here. Select Report 105. [Prof. Salkin appears at 2:42:25.]