NY county execs demand Senate to break impasse

Democratic and Republican county executives from across New York state came together Thursday to call on the state Senate to stop the power struggle and get back to passing legislation.

"State government is out of touch with most of the people across this state," said Rensselar County Executive Kathleen Jimino during a telephone news conference put together by the state County Executives' Association.

Topping the list of legislation currently stalled is authorization to extend county sales taxes, in Westchester and elsewhere in the state.

"And it's not only a source of revenue for county government," said Westchester County Executive Andy Spano. "We're talking about municipalities, and we're talking about school districts also."

The work of the Senate came to an abrupt standstill when Democratic Senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate suddenly switched sides and helped Republicans take control of Senate leadership.

Monserrate later backtracked and rejoined the Democrats, leaving both parties evenly divided with 31 members each.

Westchester County residents agree that something needs to be done to prevent a repeat of the impasse in the state Senate.

"It's a problem because nothing gets done," says Lorraine Herman, of Carmel. "Everything is at a stalemate, and I'm concerned about it."

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