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Mount Vernon Legislator Opposes Child Care Cuts

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Democrats on the Westchester Board of Legislators do not support a proposal from Republican County Executive Rob Astorino that would increase day care payments for low income families, according to County Legislator Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon).

The proposal, which would go into law on Nov. 1 if approved by the legislature and signed by Astorino, would increase day care contributions from 20 percent to 35 percent for a family of three that makes up to $36,620.

New York State mandates that counties pay between 10 and 35 percent for child care. In February that number in Westchester went up to 20 percent, from 15 percent. Williams said that the county has paid for child care for decades but when Astorino came into office, the money for child care was drastically cut.

“Talk to your neighbors and let them know there are attacks on children by a policy by the county executive,” Williams said. “We cannot tolerate that. From the first day, Astorino wanted to dismantle child care in Westchester County. Every year he vetoes our approval and we override him but we don’t have the votes anymore. Next year is going to be a difficult year.”

Democrats on the Westchester Board of Legislators filed a lawsuit, which is in the court system to prevent the change, but Republican legislators said the issue was that the Democrats would not compromise with them on the child care issue. Republican Minority Leader James Maisano (R-New Rochelle) said that the child care debate should not be resolved by a judge but by the county legislature and Astorino.

“We were elected to analyze and debate county issues, work in a collegial and professional manner with our legislative colleagues and the county executive and his administration, and then make decisions, even when the decision may be complicated and difficult,” Maisano said.

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