County Legislature Session Summary for February 2010

County Legislature Session Summary
for February 2010

(Binghamton, NY). The Broome County Legislature held its second Regular Session of 2010 on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 following the State of the County by County Executive Barbara J. Fiala.
 
The Legislature considered resolutions concerning healthcare premiums for County Legislators and Board of Elections Commissioners, a local law amending the adoption of the annual county budget, public transportation revenues, and an application for a grant for creating jobs for low to moderate income families among numerous other items.
 
While acting on a resolution held-over from the January session, legislators approved a bipartisan initiative to increase the amount which they and part-time Board of Election Commissioners contribute towards the premium for health insurance coverage. Legislators and BOE Commissioners will now contribute 25% towards the cost of the premium, up from the 15% which they currently pay for coverage in the county’s self-insurance program.
 
In another matter held-over from the previous session, the Legislature adopted a Local Law which would amend the budget adoption process to settle a long standing difference of opinion between County Executives and the Legislature. The amended process would start the budget process earlier, require an additional public hearing to be held by the Legislature and clarify language which would allow legislators to respond to the concerns of their constituents in a more effective manner. This local law would take effect only if approved by a majority of voters in the general election on November 2, 2010 through a referendum.
 
Other matters discussed and approved included two revenue streams for the County’s Public Transportation Department. The Legislature authorized acceptance of funding from the NYS DOT to provide low income employment transportation services in the amount of $57,733. These funds will be used to provide transportation services to eligible participants with incomes under 200% of the national poverty rate. The Legislature also renewed an agreement with Binghamton University to provide transportation services to students and employees through 2015. The payments will begin at $375,000 for the 2010-11 academic year and increase yearly according to the Consumer Price Index- All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
 
In economic development news, the Legislature authorized the Department of Planning and Economic Development to submit a grant application to the State which would seek $750,000 for Impress, USA to provide financial assistance in creating and retaining permanent private sector job opportunities for persons from low and moderate income families.
 
And on the energy efficiency front, the Legislature authorized agreements allowing the Public Library to begin its Solar Photo Voltaic System Project which is being funded through grants from the State’s Public Library Construction Program Grant and NYSERDA. The Solar Panel Project is expected to dramatically reduce the Public Library’s energy consumption and related expenses.
Once adopted by the Legislature, resolutions are then forward by the Clerk of the Legislature to the County Executive for her signature or veto.
 
Meeting notices, agendas, minutes and all other legislative business are available on the County Legislature’s website under the Legislative Business tab on www.gobroomecounty.com For more information, please feel free to visit the site or contact the staff of the Legislature at 778-2131.
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02/18/2010 - 11:52am