The Rockland Legislature’s Budget & Finance Committee meets tonight at 6 p.m. to review and vote on changes to the proposed 2012 county budget. The committee will discuss the proposed changes to the budget presented to the legislature in late October by County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef. On Tuesday evening, the full legislature will meet to adopt a budget for next year.
Budget & Finance Committee Chairman Ilan Schoenberger (D-Ramapo) said the legislators will be going over schedules and spreadsheets included in the proposed budget.
“The process is a very lengthy and complicated one,” he said.
He explained there are pages and pages of suggested changes to the county executive’s $701.8 million budget and expected the legislative staff will work through the afternoon to prepare all the materials for the meeting.
“They’re minutiae,” Schoenberger said. “It’s detailed.”
The county executive’s budget called for departmental eliminations, hundreds of staff layoffs and program reductions to combat a. While many of the legislators know about some of the committee’s recommendations, they may not be aware of all of them. Even though he has been speaking and meeting with many of the legislators, Schoenberger expects those who are not members of the committee to be present at the special meeting.
“As it progresses, we’re always discussing possible changes,” he explained.
The changes will be reviewed and additional changes may be recommended. At the beginning of the session, Schoenberger will make a presentation about the budget explaining what the budget does and what changes are being made.
The meeting will end with a vote by the 10 committee members.
“We adopt those schedules in committee tonight,” he said. “We vote on them tomorrow night with the full legislature.”
Following the full legislative vote, the clerk to the legislature will accept and certify the resolutions approved by the legislators and send them to the county executive. The county executive has several options: accepting the budget, vetoing it or vetoing specific line items. Vanderhoef has five days to act on the budget.
If he vetoes it, the legislature can accept it or override it at its next meeting. The deadline for a county budget is December Tuesday, 20.
“By December 20, by law the budget must be finalized,” said Schoenberger.
The full legislature meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6 to vote on the 2012 budget.