After more than 14 hours of negotiations Monday between different factions on the board and the administration, the Westchester Board of Legislators passed a compromise budget shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday that increases funding for child care, eviction prevention, the arts and other programs.
The final compromise did not rely on revenue from a Playland deal to pay for the additions. County Executive Rob Astorino has been pushing the board to approve a deal to have the nonprofit Sustainable Playland take over the park but many legislators felt including the revenue was too speculative.
The vote was 16-1 with outgoing Legislator Judy Myers, D-Mamaroneck, voting no.
The $1.74 billion budget doesn’t raise the tax levy or take money from unrestricted fund balance, two parameters insisted on by Astorino. The board and administration found small cuts around the budget to pay for $900,000 for the Title XX child care program, which serves families up to 275 percent of the poverty line, depending on family size. The program had been rapidly dwindling after it was frozen to most new families.
“People are still struggling in our communities, whether they are seniors on fixed-incomes or working mothers,” said Legislator Lyndon Williams, D-Mount Vernon, in a statement. “Beneath the wealth and prosperity in Westchester, there is homelessness and residents with mental health issues. This budget works toward helping residents, and also gives them a chance to step up the economic ladder.”
Astorino is expected to veto some of the additions and legislators believe they have the votes to override some of the vetoes. He has 10 days to consider vetoes and send them back to the board.
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