From the Morning Memo:

So much for New Year’s wishes.

Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz went into the final holiday weekend of 2016 with a faint hope the governor would sign the Indigent Legal Services bill.

The legislation, which transferred legal costs for the poor from counties to the state, would’ve taken a massive burden off Erie County. Poloncarz said, last year alone, the county paid about $12.5 million that was not reimbursed by the state.

It wasn’t in the cards, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed the bill, citing the $800 million dollar price tag. His office said 3/4 of the cost associated with it were unnecessary.

While that maybe fiscally sound reasoning for the state, Poloncarz said it leaves his constituents in a bad spot. Under new rules this year, the county may be required to cover the costs of an even larger pool of individuals who qualify for government-funded defense.

“I’m hopeful they’ll be able to work on a compromise that still ensures that the counties are not covering any future cost increases,” Poloncarz said.

The county executive pointed to the bills passage in both houses of the state legislature and the governor’s office expressing a willingness to negotiate this year. He believes there’s a chance legislation removing the “unfunded mandate” from the county could be signed in the near future.

“This was not a political issue. This was not a Democratic/Republican issue. This was an issue that was embraced by everybody on all sides,” Poloncarz said. “So I’m hopeful it will be part of the budget talks.”