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County Budget Deadline Looms

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Erie County's budget deadline is getting closer. The County Legislature must adopt a spending plan by midnight Tuesday or the county executive's "red" budget will automatically take effect. That plan would shut down libraries and drastically cut public safety.

Lawmakers continued their work over the weekend. On Friday, Democratic lawmakers issued their budget amendments to cut patronage jobs, employee cell phones and take-home vehicles. But the amendments also restore some jobs in public safety and health. Democratic Majority Leader Lynn Marinelli says there is still much work ahead before a final budget showdown.

"I would hope a consensus exists in this Legislature, no matter what side of the aisle we're on, that we need (to restore funding for) public safety, public health and areas that generate revenue," Marinelli said.

Monday night at 6:00, Democratic Legislator Demone Smith and Legislature Chairman George Holt will host a public roundtable meeting at the Science Museum. Citizen's will have one last chance to express their concerns and make suggestions before Tuesday's budget vote.