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.
Today, we are happy to announce that working with Senator Sampson, Assembly Speaker Silver, State Comptroller DiNapoli, and Governor Paterson, an agreement has been reached which enables the City of Yonkers to adopt and certify its budget to include the $36.4 million in education funding that had been vetoed.
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 (35th District – D/WF) introduced and passed legislation (S7876) which was signed into law last week to enable the Yonkers City Council to appoint one member to the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (YIDA). Most cities across the State of New York require a specific number of members of Industrial Development Agency boards to be appointed by the governing boards of their municipalities.
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announced that she has introduced legislation (S8165A) to eliminate 118 public authorities and agencies that are no longer active.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).
Thank you Bill (Ryan) for that kind introduction – I had the privilege of serving with Bill for almost a decade on the Westchester County Legislature…which is also the reason that there are so many other familiar faces here today -- thank you all for your warm reception.
President Thomas Santulli, (Chemung County Executive), Mike Breslin (Albany’s own County Executive), my friend Steve Acquario, (Executive Director of NYSAC), the NYSAC Board of Directors and all of the leaders of our counties -- the important members of this distinguished and accomplished organization, thank you so much for this opportunity to be here with you today.