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GOP Legislators Support Astorino Health Benefit Contribution Proposal

GOP Legislators Support Astorino Health Benefit Contribution Proposal

Call On Leadership Of Board Of Legislators To Review And Pass 15% Contribution For Health Benefits As Quickly As Possible

1/25/2010 9:34:20 AM

 

 

White Plains, NY – The Republican legislators on the Westchester County Board of Legislators announced their unanimous support today for County Executive Astorino’s plan to require non-union Westchester County employees to contribute 15% of their health care costs.

 

In a memo (see below) to the chairs of the committees that will be reviewing the proposed legislation, Minority Leader Jim Maisano (R, New Rochelle) voiced the support of the Republican Caucus for this fiscally responsible reform.  The legislation has the full support of Minority Whip Gordon A. Burrows (R, Yonkers), and legislators Bernice Spreckman (R, Yonkers) and John G. Testa (R, Peekskill).  Maisano stated in his memo, “It is the fiduciary duty of every legislator to promote fiscally responsible and cost-effective reforms to control governmental spending.  The County Executive’s proposal is a step in the right direction. In that spirit, we ask that your committees review this proposal at a meeting as soon as possible and that your committees move decisively to schedule a vote and pass this important legislation.”

 

The legislators emphasized that their support is not partisan. Burrows stressed, “We must support this common sense cost-saving proposal not as Republicans or Democrats, but as the elected stewards of the county’s fiscal resources. We must make sure this government becomes more fiscally responsible.”

 

“Simply put, these are the new economic facts of life for all of us,” said Testa. “Westchester should join those counties that do require a contribution to health care cost. The impact on county revenue and Westchester’s already sky-high taxes mean we must reduce the cost of government and provide relief to hard pressed taxpayers. Benefits starting with health care must be included, and that means a contributory plan.”

 

Maisano’s memo stresses, “It is imperative that every legislator recognize how this economic uncertainty has impacted the county’s revenue stream. 2010 will be very difficult for the county’s finances, and next year’s budget will be even more challenging, with a looming multi-million dollar deficit, and if we do not take all action to address these budgetary problems, their impact will be forced upon the taxpayers of Westchester County, something this caucus will not support.”

 

“In these trying economic times, any little bit I can do to help the taxpayers, I will willingly do,” added Spreckman

 

The Republican legislators noted this is a time for aggressive and thoughtful leadership.  While the proposed legislation does not include the Board of Legislators, the Republican legislators will also be looking to include the Board in future reforms and hope passage of the County Executive’s proposal will be the start of additional actions that will eventually mandate that all county employees will be contributing to their health benefits.

 

The overall goal of the Republican legislators is to be leaders in the effort to mandate more cost-effective government in Westchester and to ensure that the county government be more in tune with the economic realities of the times.  Burrows noted that health costs have doubled in the past decade to $149 Million annually and added, “I look forward to taking a lead on this issue and will work diligently to convince my colleagues to pass this legislation as soon as possible.

 


 

From:

 

 

Hon. James Maisano, Minority Leader and Republican Caucus

 

 

To:

 

 

Hon. Jose Alvarado-Chair- Budget and Appropriations Committee 
Hon. Michael Kaplowitz -Chair, Government Operations, Efficiency & Savings Committee 

 

 

Date: 

 

 

January 25, 2010

 

 

Re: 

 

 

Republican Caucus Support for County Executive’s Proposal that Non-Union County Employees Contribute 15% of Their Health Care Costs    

 

 

 

I write on behalf of the Republican Caucus to voice our support for County Executive Rob Astorino’s proposed common sense initiative calling for non-union Westchester County employees to contribute 15% of their health care costs.  We do so because it is the fiduciary duty of every legislator to promote fiscally responsible and cost-effective reforms to control governmental spending.  The County Executive’s proposal is a step in the right direction. In that spirit, we ask that your committees review this proposal at a meeting as soon as possible and that your committees then move decisively to schedule a vote and pass this important legislation.

 

These are distressing economic times unlike any in recent memory.  It is imperative that every legislator recognize how this economic uncertainty has impacted the county’s revenue stream.  2010 will be very difficult for the county’s finances, and next year’s budget will be even more challenging with a looming multi-million dollar deficit, and if we do not take all action possible to address these budgetary problems, their impact will be forced upon the taxpayers of Westchester County, something this caucus will not support.

 

It is simply an economic fact of life that the public and private sectors must change the way they operate and find new cost effective models to fit these times. The County Executive’s proposed legislation meets that standard.

 

This proposal has our support, and we look forward to working with all of our colleagues to continue efforts to reform our government and to find efficient and cost-effective measures to address Westchester County government’s financial challenges.

 

cc   Board of Legislators
       County Executive Astorino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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