Public hearing on tentative Dutchess County budget scheduled for Today (Thursday)

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro presented his tentative $560 million spending plan for 2023 on Tuesday.  A public hearing on the proposal is taking place in the legislative chambers on Thursday, November 3rd, at 7:00 p.m.

County Legislators on the Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee, chaired by Legislator Michael Polasek (R-LaGrange) will begin reviewing the spending plan on Wednesday, November 9th.  “In prior years, we have not had full participation from all legislators during the budget review process,” said Polasek.  “The purpose of these special meetings is to review department-by-department changes and review new initiatives for the upcoming year,” the chairman proclaimed, adding ” Unfortunately, some legislators are only concerned about voting no on the budget rather than building it up.”  The committee will convene at least three times in November to review the spending plan before the full legislature votes on it.

The Democratic caucus of the legislature has accused Molinaro of shutting the Democrats out of the budget process prior to the presentation on Tuesday.  “We will be working hard over the next few weeks to learn as much as we can about whether this budget is responsible for Dutchess County and whether it addresses the services our Caucus firmly believes are most needed in Dutchess. There are many issues we need to tackle in this budget that I hope are addressed, namely, the opioid and mental health crisis in our county, as well as issues of homelessness and crime,” stated Democratic Minority Leader Yvette Valdés Smith (D – Fishkill and Beacon).

Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver said “I think this budget balances what we do as a legislature.  It lowers taxes but maintains services, or even increases services to a certain degree, and that’s where the conversation will be,” adding, “I think there will be a heated debate on a few things.”

The proposed 2023 Dutchess County Budget can be found here.