Astorino To Release County Budget Proposal Wednesday

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County Executive Robert Astorino says health care costs of county employees will rise to $125 million in the 2013 budget, which will be made public Wednesday. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino will release his proposed 2013 budget Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Astorino said in October there is a projected $86 million budget gap and that he wouldn’t raise taxes or use county reserves to make up the difference. Instead, he called on county unions to begin paying a portion of their health care costs. Short of that, Astorino said 800 jobs would have to be eliminated, a 16-percent reduction in the workforce.

The county is paying $120 million for health care this year, and is projected to pay $125 million in 2013. Three unions have struck deals to contribute to their health care.

“There’s no way I’ll let 800 layoffs happen,” Astorino said. “But we have to figure out a way to contain our costs or there will be a number and it won’t be a pleasant number, and that will happen this year.”

The county executive has until Thursday, Nov. 15, to submit a proposed budget. The Westchester County Board of Legislators then has until Dec. 27 to adopt a final budget plan. 

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