LITTLE VALLEY – Development of a plan to handle changes in Medicaid as New York State moves toward full control of the program will be among the challenges facing the Cattaraugus County Legislature during the coming year, Legislature Chairman Norman Marsh said Tuesday in his inaugural address.
Marsh, a Little Valley Republican representing District 3, was re-elected unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting.
Marsh said the plan to handle changes in Medicaid “must be adaptable to different situations in a short period of time. ... It looks like any departments that are impacted by Medicaid will have a busy year.”
Another process that will need to be redeveloped in the coming year, Marsh said, will be in how the county disseminates funds from casino revenue.
In his address to the Legislature, Marsh said the preceding year was very smooth, as the budget went, but some processes are going to need refining in the coming year.
“While our tax rate may not have been as low as we would have liked, with the uncertainty of the economy, I think we did a good job,” he said. “With some new ideas from the Ad Hoc Budget Committee that helped in this past year, our procedural and financial aspects should be improved over the next few years.”
Legislator James Snyder Sr. (R-District 10, Olean) was elected Tuesday as the Legislature’s vice chairman.
District 5 Legislator Donna Vickman (R-Farmersville Station) was appointed majority leader; Patrick Murphy (R-District 2, Cattaraugus), assistant leader; and Steven Teachman (R-District 10, Olean), majority whip.
James Boser (D-District 7, Allegany) will continue to serve as minority leader, with William Sprague (D-District 4, Yorkshire) as assistant leader and Susan Labuhn (D-District 9, Salamanca) as whip.
Boser said the issue of the county nursing homes is pressing in 2014. “We must deal with the county nursing homes, a very difficult decision will have to be made,” he said.
A trend uncovered in the 2012 audit of nursing homes for the county found that more costs are building to keep the facilities viable, but they are not hitting the self-sufficient point, needing additional funding.
The Legislature will handle regular business at its next scheduled meeting at 3 p.m. Jan. 22 in the third-floor Legislative Chambers at the County Center, 303 Court St.