Holding the Line

Some good news for taxpayers. The Rensselaer County Legislature is again holding the line on spending in legislative operations, even slightly reducing spending for 2014. The 2014 legislative budget brings spending to a level comparable to the early 1990s. Some excerpts from a press release on the subject:

“Staffing levels were kept below budgeted levels, and the Legislature deferred certain equipment purchases and upgrades. The Legislature also continued to generate a savings from a conversion from paper-based products to electronic tablets.

The legislative budget prepared for inclusion in the 2014 budget totals $1.289 million, down slightly from the $1.291 million in the 2013 budget.

The Legislature handles research, filing and consideration of legislative issues, local laws and resolutions, constituent issues, communication to county residents including operation of a website, broadcast of legislative meetings on cable access and preparation of a constituent guide, administers the county insurance policy, audits financial transactions, helps coordinate storage of important county documents, and operates a nature preserve in East Greenbush and Schodack.

Along with reducing the annual budget for the Legislature, the Legislature has also kept spending under budgeted levels during each of the past several years. There was a savings of $115,000 in the 2012 legislative operations, and $141,267 in the 2011 legislative operations. The savings of $141,267 in 2011 came after a savings of $129,200 in 2010 and a savings of $160,000 in 2009.”

We recognize these are challenging economic times, and thank all members of the Legislature, and legislative staff, for their efforts in controlling spending. These reductions and cost-controls will be part of the overall county budget when it announced next week. We are proud recent county budgets have been kept under the state tax cap and that important services have been maintained.

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