Legislators in Rockland and Westchester yesterday added millions of dollars to their county executives’ proposed budgets, which recommended slashing funding and eliminating dozens of jobs.
In Rockland, the Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee voted 7-2 to restore almost every job and program that County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef had sought to cut, The Journal News/Lohud.com reports today. The full Legislature will vote on the budget today, but members typically accept the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee.
Vanderhoef’s plan would lay off 70 employees and eliminate six Health Department programs and the county sheriff’s mounted patrol. Lawmakers reduced expenses by $7.6 million and opted to use $6.2 million to restore the positions and programs, which includes funding for 20 contract agencies that were slated to have it reduced.
The changes would not impact the overall spending or property tax called for in Vanderhoef’s proposed $736.9 million budget, which imposes a $157 tax increase. Money to cover the cost of the restorations would come from the budget by eliminating vacant, but budgeted, jobs in 2013 and reducing spending for overtime and relief workers.
In Westchester, lawmakers added dozens of jobs and millions of dollars in programs to County Executive Robert Astorino’s proposed spending plan. His $1.7 billion budget would not increase the property-tax levy. It calls for laying off 126 employees and eliminating 63 vacant positions.
Legislators have added $41.5 million in spending and $31.6 million in revenue. Later this week, the Board of Legislators will delete spending to bring the budget into balance.
The goal is to keep the tax levy flat, said Legislator Judy Myers, chairwoman of the board’s Budget Committee. The Democratic majority will need Republican support to override any vetoes from Astorino.