Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Legislature Approves Proposed 2014 Monroe County Budget

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Rochester: Legislature Approves Proposed 2014 Monroe County Budget
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The Monroe County Legislature approved County Executive Maggie Brooks' proposed 2014 budget. The vote was 19 to 10 along party lines.

The county is facing a $45 million deficit for next year. Before they approved the budget, legislators voted on other amendments.

They included a Democratic proposal to oversee the hiring of professional service contracts, which was voted down. This was is in response to Dennis Vacco being hired by the county executive to oversee the Local Development Corporation investigation, without County Leg approval. An amendment to restore the $1.3 million cuts to child care funding also failed.

There will be no pay raise for Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn next year. Despite his efforts to get a 27 percent pay increase, raising his salary to $174,000, the Legislature unanimously passed an amendment freezing his pay.

"We have to make a lot of tough choices in our budget and we felt at this point in time that we have to maintain every dollar we possibly could. The Sheriff does a great job, we appreciate him very much. At this point in time, it was a dollars and sense issue," said Republican Majority Leader Steve Tucciarello.

"Overall, the budget is a case of priorities and I don't agree with the county executives' priorities in this case. The budget had the cuts to child care, the problems with the Local development Corp that we tried to highlight and discuss. The budget had the cuts to the parents as teachers program," said Democratic Minority Leader Carrie Andrews.

Republicans say the child care cuts come because there's fewer people who need it. Democrats don't agree. The cuts take effect Jan. 1 and do not impact families already enrolled.

MCC Downtown Campus Project Stalled

County Republicans are slamming Democrats for stalling the Monroe Community College Downtown campus project.

County Executive Maggie Brooks says the minority caucus of the legislature voted against the last round of capital bonding for the college's downtown campus.

County Democrats say they will not vote for the project unless their goals are met.
They say they want to see a bipartisan legislative committee created to take over internal investigations.

This is in response to the ongoing LDC investigation

Pawn Shop Proposal

A controversial proposal to regulate pawn shops and jewelery and coin exchange stores in the county was also discussed at Tuesday night's meeting.

The new legislation would require pawn brokers and secondhand dealers to be licensed by the county.

They will also be required to hold on to goods for two weeks as well as upload images to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office database before they can sell them.

Lawmakers hope this will help cut down on sales of stolen goods.

Items costing less than $15 would be exempt from the new regulation as well as stores where secondhand clothing makes up more than half of sales. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP