Governor vetoes annexation oversight bill again


Skoufis, during media briefing a week ago,
now says he will “never stop working”
on the issue

ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed Assemblyman James Skoufis’ bill that would have allowed for county oversight of property annexation from one municipality to another.
The bipartisan measure, sponsored in the Senate by Republican William Larkin, was aimed at the Village of Kiryas Joel, which has a petition before it to annex hundreds of acres in the Town of Monroe into the village.
State law says counties may only get involved with annexations if they cross county lines.
In Cuomo’s veto message, he said that he vetoed a similar bill last year because it would “authorize counties to have control over local annexation petitions that did not impact a county’s boundaries because it would have directly contravened the constitutional prohibitions on a county’s authority.”
The governor said the language of the most current bill “violates the same constitutional principles.”
Skoufis accused fellow Democrat Cuomo of “politically-driven disregard” and said his argument that the bill is unconstitutional “flies in the face of reality.” Both Skoufis and the governor are Democrats.
Skoufis pledged to continue his effort to have the bill become law.
Larkin said he would “never stop working to ensure the annexation proposals that have a profound impact on your localities have appropriate oversight.”
A “mad as hell” opponent to Skoufis, Republican Colin Schmitt, said the veto “is yet another example of state government failing our communities.
Schmitt also claimed the incumbent has had four years “to protect our communities from KJ’s uncontrolled and unchecked growth.” He charged that Skoufis has not delivered “a single tangible accomplishment to protect our communities.” 

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