Budget Hearings

Photo from Karen Dewitt

The state’s education commissioner Mary Ellen Elia spent nearly four hours before the legislative budget committees on Wednesday.


WBFO News File Photo

Tensions between upstate Senators and the Mayor of New York City were highlighted during a budget hearing on aid to local governments in Albany, when lawmakers questioned the mayor for over five hours.


The legislature has finished it’s hearings on Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal, and will be ready to start crafting a spending plan once they return from the President’s Day break.

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Erie County legislators were told on Monday ECC has to have more money to keep it an effective college.

Student tuition now provides around 52 percent of the proposed $111 million budget, which includes a $300 annual tuition increase. The county's share holds steady just over $17 million and 44 vacant positions are being abolished.

College President Jack Quinn says cuts in state aid and frozen county dollars made the fiscal situation worse. The budget has to go to legislators for a vote.

Dozens of college union members showed up to say the county has to do better.

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The local cultural community and the school board told separate Common Council budget hearings last night they need more funding.

Led by Interim Schools Superintendent Amber Dixon, the Council was given a detailed look at deteriorating finances with cuts in state aid as costs like pensions, retiree health insurance, and teacher salaries go up.

Nonetheless, Dixon offered an optimistic tone.