Jenkins Commends Cuomo, State Legislators On Budget Agreement

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Ken Jenkins (D - Yonkers), chairman of the county Board of Legislators, commended Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the tentative budget agreement reached Wednesday night.
Ken Jenkins (D - Yonkers), chairman of the county Board of Legislators, commended Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the tentative budget agreement reached Wednesday night. Photo Credit: File photo

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins issued the following statement Thursday on the state 2013–14 budget agreement reached late Wednesday:

Under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership, and thanks to the willingness of the state’s elected leaders to work together in an amiable fashion, we have a budget agreement that continues the progress being made toward strengthening our communities for a prosperous and healthy future.

I am especially heartened that the governor and his colleagues in the state legislature have maintained a focus on creating jobs and making New York more business-friendly. They’ve also cut taxes for middle-class residents and small businesses while providing mandate relief. The budget’s increase of the minimum wage will also benefit millions of workers and the state’s overall economy as well.

All in all, this real progress simply furthers the understanding that New York State’s governing leaders are committed to putting differences aside in order to create smart solutions to the challenges they face.

I commend Gov. Cuomo for forging an agreement on another timely, responsible budget that keeps New York on the rise.

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Mr Jenkins,

I am sure you are aware that the 1.4 billion budget shortfall was balanced by taking money form the workers comp fund and mortgage insurance fund. Let me pass on some legal information about taking money form the workers comp fund. After reading this I feel you will want to retract your support for the budget unless you support violating the law. There are 2 references; Section 76, subdivision 5 of the Workers Compensation Law and Section 88 of the Workers Compensation Law. Section 76, sub. 5 says, “No monies of the state insurance fund shall be transferred to any other fund, nor shall any such monies be applied to the making of any payment for any purpose other than the purposes set forth in this article.” Section 88 says that the State Insurance Fund, “shall not be considered an agency or fund of the state for the purposes of Section 4 of the State Finance Law.” Section 4 of the SFL includes provisions for the transfer of funds within the budget.

This is a fine example of one path to becoming a successful politician. This praise for the state budget comes from a local political leader who would not recognize a sound budget if one fell on him.

When it came to the County budget, the one Mr. Jenkins is responsible for, rather than work with Rob Astorino and accept a compromise budget hammered out with the support of northern Westchester Democratic leader, Mike Kaplowitz, when he saw he did not have the votes to block it, Mr. Jenkins stormed out of the chamber, turned out the lights, and started ringing. a loud bell to interfere with the voting process.

While the governor does deserve credit for implementing the 2% tax cap and beginning the process of pension reform in his first two years, as his reelection looms nearer, he seems reticent to finish the job, leaving local school districts caught between the cap and unsustainable benefit packages.

At least County Majority Leader Peter Harckham had the good grace not to sign this letter. He must realized that he turned his back on northern Westchester when he too walked out on the Astorino budget.