Albany County Legislature sends budget to executive

Amid talks of a compromise regarding the Albany County Nursing Home, county lawmakers passed an amended version of the budget at its Monday, Dec. 7, meeting.

The Albany County Legislature passed the budget 27-12.

The executive's budget, as amended by the Legislature, is slated to save jobs, but at the same time institutes a hiring freeze, according to Frank Commisso, D-Albany, majority leader for the legislature. The budget comes in at $573 million, with nearly $2 million more than the executive's proposal coming from reserve funds.

The Legislature's adopted 2010 budget fails to address long-term spending that is necessary to protect property taxpayers in 2011 and 2012. I am disappointed the Legislature did not accept my compromise to begin downsizing the county nursing home to reduce some of the financial pressure we will face, said Albany County Executive Mike Breslin . "I will be carefully reviewing the Legislature's budget and will consider a veto if it means protecting taxpayers and those we serve."

Mary Duryea, a representative with Breslin's office said the executive will make his decision based on the merits of the budget, not the likelihood a veto will succeed or fail.

Duryea said the executive was hopeful for a compromise involving the building of a smaller nursing home and keeping the other facets of his budget intact.

Commisso said he is hopeful the executive and Legislature can move forward to compromise on the nursing home, even though the executive's deal was turned down.

"It shouldn't be used as a bargaining chip," he said. "It's essential that we have a nursing home."

He said he does not support the elimination of 74 beds in the nursing home as it stands, but added, "I'm always open to dialogue," as far as plans for a new home.

Commisso said the budget approved by the Legislature, will save 100 jobs but will institute a hiring freeze.

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