Rochester, New York – May 16, 2013. In a move intended to stifle Minority rights in the County Legislature, Majority Republicans have introduced legislation that would cut the Democratic Minority Staff Budget by 10% effective July 1. This unprecedented escalation of legislative tensions is clearly intended to retaliate against the Democrats call for Todd Spring to resign as Monroe Community Hospital Director.
“It’s no secret how Republicans in this County respond to criticism, we’ve seen them retaliate even against their own members when those folks dared to speak out,” Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “But to have the audacity to think it is okay to steal ten percent of our staff budget mid-way through the year is beyond the pale. We will not succumb to this bullying and we ask the decent residents of this County to stand with us against this act of aggression.”
“In recent weeks, Republicans have been on a rampage of retaliation, ousting Majority Leader Anthony Daniele for speaking in favor of legislative oversight of Monroe Community Hospital, illegally stripping Democrat Legislator Willie Joe Lightfoot of his Airport Authority Board membership and instituting new rules to stifle debate and legislative oversight of County Government,” Assistant Democratic Leader Cindy Kaleh (D-Rochester) said. “Finally, on Tuesday evening, they introduced legislation to change the long-standing rule that the staff budgets be reallocated only at the Organizational Meeting of the Legislature that follows a regular election of County Legislators. The next Organizational Meeting is scheduled to take place in January 2016 and that should be when the staff budgets are reallocated.”
Democrats also noted that no other department in County Government is being targeted for such a mid-year budget cut, a clear sign this is retaliation. Democrats have vowed to oppose this undemocratic and reckless proposal and continue their push for oversight of County Government.