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Giambra Is Now Pushing His "Green" Budget

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is now pushing his so-called "green" budget.

Giambra called on the County Legislature Tuesday to pass a measure that seeks state permission for a penny increase in the sales tax. The "green" budget restores the drastic funding cuts proposed in the "red" budget. And for the first time, Giambra said he's willing to compromise by sharing revenue from the extra penny with the county's towns and villages.

Legislative leaders say they have no plans to call a special session as Giambra requested to pass the tax measure. Majority Leader Lynn Marinelli says they have only one budget before them, and that's the "red" one. The Legislature has two more public hearings scheduled for next week in Orchard Park and Clarence.

Giambra's call for approval of the "green" budget came just hours after a public hearing in which he and his administration were harshly criticized. He said yesterday that hearing had nothing to do with his proposal. Giambra says with time running out, it's time for compromise.