Niagara Gazette —
There will be changes — i.e. spending cuts — before it’s adopted anyway, legislative Majority Caucus Leader Richard Updegrove, R-Lockport, said Thursday. Legislators have until Dec. 18 to propose line item changes and put them up to a vote.
“We intend to work these next few to lower the tax burden,” Updegrove said in an e-mailed statement. “We will seek input from our department heads and work with them to achieve further reductions ... .”
All department heads were given 2013 spending reduction “targets,” averaging 3 to 3.5 percent, this past April. Since then, Glatz said, they reviewed staffing and operations with an eye on how to hit the targets without eliminating services.
Of the $5.4 million increase in year-over-year spending, $3.4 million comes from mandated, or non-negotiable, appropriations: Medicaid, employee pension contributions, welfare/safety net programs and preschool special education.