Youth Board Cuts Must Be Restored
Last week, County Youth Board agencies received notifications from the administration via certified mail that they would receive cuts to their budgets as of April 1st. The agencies which provide programs for our children were given just two days’ notice that their funding would be curtailed or in some cases totally eliminated. In a quick reversal, the County Executive temporarily “withdrew” the cuts explaining if the state legislature approves his additional Red Light Camera program by mid-April he will restore most of the cuts.
Legislator Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) spoke out against Youth Board cuts at a rally last Monday on the steps of the County Legislative Building. Leg. Bosworth stated, “It is extremely unfortunate that the agencies received only 48 hours’ notice and that the proposed cuts were distributed unfairly. The cuts fell most severely on areas represented by a Democratic County Legislator and much less severely on communities where there is a Republican lawmaker. In fact, 83% of the cuts were to agencies in districts represented by Democratic legislators. For example, in the 10th Legislative District’s agencies, like COPAY and Manhasset-Great Neck EOC, had their budgets cut by 67%, while the overwhelming majority of agencies in districts represented by Republicans only had 5% of their budgets cut.”
The County’s Red Light Camera law was created as a public safety enhancement to catch drivers who run through red lights at various intersections designated as dangerous. The revenue realized from these tickets must be applied to a Special Revenue Fund to provide dollars for specific social program budget lines. These areas include several social service agencies including Youth Board agencies.
Leg. Bosworth noted, “Any attempt to reduce the funds in any of these specifically designated areas violates the law we passed unanimously in 2009. To comply with the law for which he voted as a legislator, County Executive Mangano must leave the Youth Board funds alone. Agency dollars must be maintained at $6,250,940 and not receive an unfair and possibly illegal reduction. I would hope that other, nonessential budget lines would be trimmed before we look to social programs that provide vital services to our veterans, seniors and children.”
Legislator Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) is pictured speaking out against Youth Board cuts during a press conference on Monday, April 4th. Legislator Bosworth and the Democratic Caucus were joined by approximately 100 Youth Board agency directors and staff including Desiree Woodson, Board Chairwoman of Manhasset/Great Neck EOC: Maria Elisa Cuadra, Executive Director of COPAY; and Stefanie Chenault executive director of Manhasset/Great Neck E.O.C.