Facing a system in crisis and an economy on the brink of collapse, Senate Democrats joined with child advocates and clergy to announce their support for Gov. Cuomo’s plans to reform the broken juvenile justice system, and call on Senate Republicans to drop their political demands that stand in the way of needed reform. Led by Senator Velmanette Montgomery, ranking member on the Senate’s Children and Families Services Committee, Senate Democrats sought to build on proposals included in Gov. Cuomo’s 2011-12 Executive Budget by announcing additional policy initiatives to create greater oversight and cost savings for New York taxpayers.
For years, taxpayers have been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to keep empty facilities open to satisfy local political interests over the interests of children and the state. As part of Senate Democrats’ support for Gov. Cuomo’s blueprint to restructure the budget process, they are calling on Senate Republicans to drop their politically-motivated opposition to juvenile justice reforms so taxpayers stop paying for a government that doesn’t work for them, and children start getting the rehabilitative services they deserve.