Local Budget Meetings Begin This Week

George Winner

February 08, 2005

Albany, N.Y.-- State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-Elmira) today reminded area residents that he will hold a series of public meetings on Governor George Pataki’s proposed 2005-06 state budget beginning with meetingsthis Thursdayin Ithaca, Corning and Elmira.

In mid-January, Pataki released a $105.5-billion budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.

"Governor Pataki has set the stage for an important legislative session. Now we need to determine if the details of the governor’s plan offer the best way to move forward," Winner said.

Toward that end, he has scheduled a series of public meetings throughout the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region to give local residents their own opportunities to obtain additional information and to comment on the Pataki plan. Winner’s 53rd District includes all of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and part of Tompkins County (the city of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Ithaca, Newfield and Ulysses).

"The Legislature’s fiscal committees have closely examined the details of the governor’s proposals and are currently holding public hearings in Albany to discuss their impact. I look forward to sharing some of this analysis with my constituents. Most importantly, I look forward to hearing directly from this region’s local leaders and concerned citizens. This local input is critical as we continue budget negotiations at the state level," said Winner, who is serving on Senate subcommittees that are reviewing and developing recommendations on the "General Government/Local Assistance" and "Health" portions of the 2005-06 state budget.

On Thursday, February 10, 2005, Winner will hold meetings at the following locations:

> Ithaca City Hall beginning at 9:00 a.m.;

> Corning City Hall, beginning at 1:00 p.m., with Assemblyman Jim Bacalles; and

> Elmira Town Hall, beginning at 5:00 p.m., with Assemblyman Tom O’Mara.

One week later, on February 17th, meetings will be held at the:

> Henderson-Smith State Office Building in Hornell, beginning at 9:00 a.m., with Assemblyman Bacalles;

> Yates County Office Building Auditorium in Penn Yan, beginning at 1:00 p.m., with Assemblyman Bacalles; and

> Rural-Urban Center in Montour Falls, beginning at 5:00 p.m., with Assemblyman O’Mara.

These public meetings are informal, Winner said, and simply designed to give anyone interested a direct opportunity to learn more about the governor’s budget proposal, as well as to share concerns and opinions on how the Pataki plan would impact local communities.