Friday, October 5, 2018

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Hein proposes “socially responsible” budget for 2019

Hein: "Socially responsible" budget cuts taxes for a seventh
straight year

KINGSTON – Saying his proposed 2019 budget lowers county property taxes for the seventh year in a row, Ulster County Executive Michael Hein took the wraps off his $328.8 million spending plan on Thursday.

“Socially responsible” is how Hein characterized his budget proposal as a reflection of his administration’s philosophy. “A government that respects its taxpayers by reducing their burden while never sacrificing critical services for those in need.”

Hein has built into the budget a plan to provide the same level of healthcare insurance coverage to the county’s 1,300 employees and their families, but at a lower cost.

He has developed a partnership with Ellenville Regional Hospital to provide faster response and care for opioid overdose victims.

To stem the tide of generational poverty, Hein noted he introduced his Brighter Future Initiative just days ago.

The county’s new restorative justice and community empowerment center, which he proposed last year, will be up and running within the next few months, he said.

The merger of the City of Kingston’s bus service with Ulster County Area Transit is targeted for next July 1, Hein announced and it will include free service for Kingston residents within the city during the transition period; free service for SUNY Ulster students to anywhere in the county; and free service to all active duty and veterans of the US armed forces to anywhere in Ulster County.

The spending plan also includes $1.88 million from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to improve parking for the Ashokan trails.

With Ulster fast becoming a Mecca for the arts, Hein said he would double the county’s arts funding allocation and he proposed a new Creative Economy Division in the Department of Economic Development.

 


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