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McCoy Proposes $732.9M Budget For Albany County

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has released his budget plan for 2020.

McCoy unveiled the $732.9 million spending plan Wednesday. He notes it keeps taxes flat and keeps spending below the state property tax cap.     "We're not raising your taxes for the seventh year in a row. We rolled up our sleeves and this is a budget again that's fiscally sound. No gimmicks. No one shots. It's about the taxpayers, but it's about the quality of services we provide, to continue that quality service,  expand on it, but not trying not to use your tax dollars."

The package includes 2 percent raises for county workers with no cuts to the county workforce.  The Democrat concedes the new automatic discovery process, part of state criminal justice changes starting next year, could test the budget.   "Some of the issues we have going forward is the unfunded mandate with no bail bond and raise the age state has given us a lot of money on other issues but there's some issues that are in there I addressed with leadership, and they'll talk to respective legislators on that, how we're gonna handle that going forward, but that's gonna add a burden on us."

McCoy says contingency fund money could be tapped if needed.  "So what I have done in the budget is anticipation of maybe the district attorney need more people, probation needed more people, it's affecting my probation department, it's affecting the D.A.'s office, it's affecting the law department, it's affecting Children, Youth and Families. So we put positions in where we could, the rest is just a guess. So I put some money into the contingency fund, so the legislature throughout the year, if the district attorney feels he needs more positions he can go to the legislature. If probation feels the same thing, they can go to the legislature. Again, till we see how this is fully gonna implement, it's tough, we're guessing.

The proposal includes $25,000 to assist local municipalities conduct a complete 2020 Census count, as Albany tries to protect federal funding earmarked for children’s health insurance, Medicaid, SNAP and more.

McCoy says 80 percent of the total budget is mandated: 60 percent from state and federal mandates and another 20 percent from local laws, resolutions or the charter.

Albany County Legislature Chair Andrew Joyce, also a Democrat, says the panel is "gearing up for an aggressive budget review schedule this month."   "It was a good presentation. The county executive is continuing his hard work and positive message for the county in terms of moving things forward, new ideas, with all the changes that are swirling around nationwide and statewide, it's up to use here, local government officials, to deflect and vent off of that and make sure that we're putting the resources in the right place to meet these new challenges that we have."

Republican Minority Leader Frank Mauriello issued a statement urging county residents to pay attention to the budget process, noting that public hearings are scheduled for October 29th and November 19th in the Legislative Chambers at the County Courthouse.

2020 Albany County Budget by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on Scribd

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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