Legislative Committees Take Up Budget Deficit, Gun Control Issues

Rockland legislators will vote on asking the state for Home Rule Legislation and to amend NY SAFE regarding magazine rounds


Rockland County Legislative committees consider a variety of resolutions at their Wednesday meetings that range from asking state and federal governments to increase access to mental health services to a renewed effort for Home Rule Legislation to issue $96 million in deficit bonds.

The Public Safety Committee chaired by Legislator Jay Hood, will discuss three resolutions regarding gun control.  The first measure urges federal and state representatives to implement policy and legislative reforms for gun control based on recommendations made by the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents. They include restoring funds for mental health services and School Resource Officers and ending a gun show loophole that enables many gun transactions to occur without background checks.

The second resolution asks the governor and state legislators to amend NY SAFE to exempt law enforcement from limiting magazines to seven rounds, define “assault weapon” more specifically and base it on function not features.

The third resolution seeks to keep the information collected from NY SAFE’s newly required five-year recertification of pistol permits at the local level and not assigned to the state police as well as not charging additional fees. The meeting is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. 

The Budget & Finance Committee, chaired by Legislator Michael Grant, will consider at its 7:15 p.m. meeting a resolution reviving last year’s effort for Home Rule Legislation that would allow the issuance of $96 million in deficit bonds.  The measure seeks to have state legislative permission for $96 million in deficit bonds on or before December 31, 2014 for the purpose of “liquidating the projected accumulated deficit in the general fund of such county for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.”

The county’s finance commissioner is asking the committee to approve $45 million in revenue anticipation notes (RAN) and $55 million in tax anticipation notes (TAN). The RANs would be issued in advance of the county receiving sales and compensating use tax revenue, mortgage recording taxes and funds from the state and federal governments. The TANs would be issued in expectation of collection of real estate taxes in 2013. According to Finance Commissioner Stephen DeGroat, the $100 million is needed for the county’s cash flow.

Additionally, the Budget & Finance Committee will vote on asking the state legislature for Home Rule Legislation to extend the 3/8 of one percent and 5/8 of one percent sales and compensating use taxes beyond the current November 30, 2013 expiration. The extension sought would cover from December 1, 2013 until November 30, 2015. Additionally a discussion about college tuition chargebacks will take place. 

At 5:30 p.m. Rockland County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Executive Director Steve Porath and Chairman of the Board Eric Dranoff will present an update to the Economic Development Committee, chaired by Legislator Michael Grant. 

Other committees meeting on Wednesday include Multi Services chaired by Legislator Philip Soskin and Government Operations, chaired by Legislator Nancy Low-Hogan Both are scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Government Operations will review the function of the county’s law department. The Planning & Public Works Committee, chaired by Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, will meet at 7 p.m.

Michael N. Hull February 13, 2013 at 01:29 AM
For the past 3 years the budgets have $20 million plus deficits built into them. The deficit has grown as of 12/31/12 to $114 million and by 12/31/13 will reach $140 million. There is a debt of $50 million caused by amortizing current pension payments into the future. Property tax has doubled tax from $60 million in 2011 to $96 million in 2013, plus another $20 million in utility and other assorted taxes. Due to an insane benefit program, employees are entitled to lifetime Healthcare benefits after 5 years of service, which was never funded. At this time that item alone accounts for $32 million a year or 30% of the current tax levy and is projected to exceed $50 million by 2019. When combined with the current Pension Plan contribution it practically consumes the entire tax levy. The tax levy must be increased by $17.5 million for a 10 year deficit bond, $24 million to cover the existing revenue shortfall in the 2013 Budget, and $12-15 million to cover the required pension contributions. This $53-57 million increase does not include normal expense growth or the $4 million a year increase in Healthcare Funding that is required. http://newcity.patch.com/blog_posts/open-letter-to-cuomo-and-dinapoli Rockland County is dysfunctional http://newcity.patch.com/blog_posts/is-rockland-county-dysfunctional When the financial pain becomes great enough on the taxpayers they will either wake up or pay up.
Jody Fox February 13, 2013 at 02:15 PM
At last we agree.
Mildred McCwade February 13, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Can someone please offer Watchmutt a job? Obviously he has WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS. This guy continually wastes internet server time and space and makes hundreds if not thousands of folks' eyes sore with his gar-bage. Never insightful, always b.s. and ignoramously unintelligent and always bo-ring. Get off your pension and / or unemployment and get a job please.
Watchdog February 13, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Your commentary offers nothing to this forum.
Laura February 13, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Wow Mildred. Everyone is entitled to their opinions without being attacked. Your post was extemely rude.


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