While costs at the nursing home are being cut, Breslin also proposed increasing funding for the county's in-home elderly service program by $500,000.
The economy is at the root of many of the county's problems, and that includes the expectation that unemployment will continue to rise in the coming months. Social Services programs will see more money under the proposed plan; Family Assistance was budgeted an extra $589,000 and the Safety Net program was afforded $1.6 million more.
"As the unemployment rate continues to rise, we just don't see light at the end of the tunnel as far as county finances are concerned," Breslin said.
Total appropriations to the Department of Social Services would decrease by just under 5 percent.
Now that the budget is submitted, members of the county legislature will review and amend the proposal. They must adopt a budget by the end of the year.
While this year brought hard decisions, Breslin emphasized that things are not expected to get any better in 2010, especially considering that about $12 million in federal stimulus money will be expiring.
"Next year will be worse than this year," he said. "It's impetrative that we do things this year that are lasting. It was in that context that we put together this budget."