(35th District, NYS) Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, as a member of the Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency, continues to work with her colleagues to examine spending practices in State agencies. Established in March, the Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency was formed to uncover inefficient government spending and develop productive solutions to put taxpayer dollars to better use.
“As the Senate Majority continues its efforts in Albany to pass a fiscally responsible budget, I would like to share my thoughts on one of the issues currently being considered, which is stalling this process. One of the areas where there is fundamental disagreement, is related to restoring the senior STAR rebate program, which I believe is a critical component that must be included in the final budget agreement.”
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District- D/WF) announced that the Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency has once again discovered excessive spending practices in State Agencies. The Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency released a report that has found excessive waste within the State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD), recommending a $3.8 million reduction in overtime costs for the agency.
This year has been very difficult for the City of Yonkers and for the State of New York. In the wake of a multi-million dollar deficit crisis, Mayor Amicone has proposed layoffs and drastic cuts in services in order to close the City's budget gap. We have made a commitment to the residents of Yonkers that we would fight to try to avoid his doomsday scenario. Today we have reached a budget agreement that will make this a reality.
Today, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District – D/WF), Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, announced that the Senate has approved legislation (S7909) to empower the State Comptroller to conduct audits of local government subsidiary organizations. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli drafted the legislation, which Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced and passed in the Senate with an overwhelming 53-7 majority.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/WF – 35th District) announced that two pieces of legislation (S7190 and S7189) she introduced to provide additional aid to the Yonkers City School District passed in the Senate.
Senate bill 7190, if enacted into law, would provide $4.8 million in additional aid to the District for its successful full day Universal Pre-Kindergarten program. Senate bill 7189 would provide a one-time payment of $3.9 million to address the dramatic increase in enrollment from 2008-09 to 2009-2010.
Bi-Partisanship Effort Amongst Members is Key to Approval
The Yonkers City Council tonight voted 6-1 to approve the City’s FY 2010-11 Budget and provide the mayor with the necessary financial resources to restore essential services and jobs. Councilmember Joan Gronowski voted against its adoption.
The budget’s passage follows an announcement earlier today by NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYS Senator Jeff Klein, NYS Assemblyman Mike Spano and NYS Assemblyman Gary Pretlow that $36.4 million in educational aid was being returned to Yonkers for school funding.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced that she has introduced legislation (S8165A) to eliminate 118 public authorities and agencies that are no longer active. The 118 authorities, located across New York State, include defunct industrial development agencies, community development agencies, urban renewal agencies and various other public authorities.
“This legislation reduces the size of government, eliminating more than 15% of the public authorities in the State of New York. This is an important step in curbing excessive spending and hiring practices of public authorities and agencies. They operate as autonomous organizations without accountability, and create a huge financial burden on taxpayers,” said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District – D/WF).
On Monday, December 20th Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, former Mayor Ed Koch and fellow Senate Democrats called on Republican State Senators to pass a package of reform bills as the first act of business in the New Year. The bills include ethics reform, budget reform, and establishing an independent redistricting commission—reform measures that were a part of former Mayor Ed Koch’s “New York Uprising” reform pledge that was signed by 53 of 62 incoming New York State Senators before the election.
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers 35th District) and William Mooney, President of the Westchester County Association are among several leaders and officials from Westchester and the Hudson Valley named to Governor Andrew Cuomo's new "Mandate Relief Design Team."
The concept of the team was unveiled during the Governor's State of the State address earlier this week and it is tasked with reviewing existing unfunded and under-funded mandates imposed by New York State on school districts, local governments and other local taxing districts...