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Astorino Vetoes 247 Lines in Legislators' 2011 Budget
Saying he could not sign a budget with phony revenues, wasteful spending and unfunded liabilities, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced this afternoon that he will veto 247 lines in the 2011 budget approved last week by the Board of Legislators.
Said Astorino, While it is commendable that the board followed my lead to reduce County property taxes, legislators did so in an irresponsible way. The combination of phony revenues, wasteful spending, unfunded liabilities and rejection of generally accepted accounting principles jeopardizes our AAA credit rating." He went on to add, " I cannot sign the budget in its current form."
The vetoes announced today include items recently returned to the budget by the Legislators-day care programs, Section 8 Housing Voucher Program,neighborhood health centers, The Human Rights Commission,a homeless shelter and community mental health clinics.
Legislators had also restored all but 95 of the 226 layoffs Astorino had called for. Today he vetoed that restoration of jobs.
Today was the last day line-item vetoes could be made under the County Charter.
His vetos can still be overriden by a two-thirds vote of the Legislators. The Democrats control the board by a 12-5 margin.
The Business Council of Westchester weighed in on the County Executive's moves today saying, "The County Executive's budget vetoes are based on prudent assumptions and making the hard decisions that have been long overdue. The vetoes preserve a budget that is fiscally responsible and makes the structural reforms that best positions Westchester for positive economic growth."
The Board of Legislators plans a final vote on the 2011 budget on December 23.
Democrats are vowing to override Astorino's vetoes.
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