Westchester lawmakers cry foul over final NYS budget
The state budget was technically a day late, and some lawmakers say it definitely was a dollar short where Westchester County schools are concerned.
The first budget passed under Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) is drawing criticism from politicians who say Westchester is only getting $1.6 million in school aid, while Long Island is getting tens of millions. "It's clear to me those monies were not based on any formula whatsoever. There is no doubt that Westchester is the highest taxed county in the state and for us to be shortchanged like that is pretty outrageous," said Assemblyman Adam Bradley (D-89th District).
Assemblyman Mike Spano (R-Yonkers) says the situation is especially dire for Yonkers because the budget only gives a 3-percent increase. The teachers' union in Yonkers argues the budget means Yonkers schools will be unable to rehire laid off guidance counselors and personnel.
Westchester homeowners can at least look forward to $1.3 billion in property tax rebates statewide, which can translate to $3,000, and money to extend health care coverage to 400,000 uninsured New York children.