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Mount Vernon Legislator Slams Astorino Over Budget Cuts

Democratic County Legislator Lyndon Williams, who represents Mount Vernon, is angry over cuts to child care proposed by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in the 2013 budget.
Democratic County Legislator Lyndon Williams, who represents Mount Vernon, is angry over cuts to child care proposed by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in the 2013 budget. Photo Credit: www.westchesterlegislators.com

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – County Legislator Lyndon Williams (D) is furious with the Westchester County budget proposed by County Executive Rob Astorino (R), saying that it “drastically” cuts child care for low-income women in Mount Vernon.

The proposed $1.7 billion budget, released by Astorino on Wednesday, would lay off 126 county employees. Williams said the budget “distorts” the county’s fiscal condition to justify budget cuts and that the cuts to programs and services disproportionately harm black and Latino families.

“Astorino’s budget decisions say he believes that subsidies for a county resident who plays golf at a county-owned golf course are more important than subsidizing child care for children of low-income families or providing health care to the poor," Williams said. “This proposed budget reduces the subsidy for care for toddlers and young children while maintaining a 52 percent subsidy for golfers. This is grossly unfair.”

The proposed budget by Astorino would cut $3 million from three county-owned neighborhood health centers, one of which is in Mount Vernon. The proposed budget would provide $26 million for child care programs, but parents would now have to pay up to 35 percent of the cost, as opposed to the 20 percent they previously paid.

“Mr. Astorino claims that he is reducing taxes on Westchester residents but his increase in the child care parent share amounts to a 75 percent tax increase on the working poor,” Williams said. “This year the Democrats don’t have a super majority. It will take a greater challenge, but we’re up for it.”

Astorino’s proposed budget now goes to the Board of Legislators. The lawmakers will hold public hearings at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mamaroneck Village Hall, 169 Mount Pleasant Ave., Mamaroneck; 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady St., Cortlandt Manor; and 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains.

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