Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget

Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget
–Line items may be different but the effect is the same—

Protect the top 2% while trampling on the middle class and working poor, with a bull’s eye being placed squarely on the foreheads of working women.

One week ago, anti-choice County Executive Astorino with the support of nine minions passed a 2013 County budget.

This budget illustrates yet again the true meaning of the right-to-life agenda: care about the fetus when it’s in the womb, and the minute it’s born, it’s on its own. The cuts to Westchester’s public health care and childcare systems are of historic proportion, targeting the most vulnerable and least able to fight back among us.

Four of Choice Matters’ previously endorsed legislators voted with Astorino in support of his anti-woman anti-family budget. By supporting this horrific budget, these four legislators – Virginia Perez (17 CLD), Mike Kaplowitz (4 CLD), Jim Maisano (11 CLD), and Bernice Spreckman (14 CLD) – have publically declared their support for the County Executive’s priorities and his War on Women and our Families.

This is not hyperbole. Their votes to pass the budget rather than to fight for their constituents will have devastating affects on working women and their families.

– Astorino’s Priorities, and those of his minions who voted in support of the budget –

►Astorino clearly thinks protecting your friends and fans’ employment is more important than the good of the County.
Astorino has preserved 56 patronage jobs, at a cost of $5.4 million dollars to tax payers; and he is holding 44 positions vacant should he wish to fill them within the coming year,

while at the same time:
â–ºHe has cut 100 important jobs that serve the residents of Westchester.
Over half of these jobs are in social services, such as social workers and eligibility examiners who help those applying for assistance. The result is that the time between applying, receiving approval, and then actually getting the services, such as food stamps, aid to dependent children, public assistance, etc., will grow exponentially. And, as we all know after the past 5 years, the number of people needing help just simply to feed their families has grown at an unimaginable rate.

The other half of the jobs cut include probation personnel, paralegals, and over 80% of the engineering and architectural staff who are essential to overseeing infrastructure improvements—that means bridges, roadways, waterways, parks, anything and everything.

►Astorino, with the support of Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano and Speckman, cut $3 million dollars in County funding to three neighborhood health centers. Let’s remember who uses the health centers. It is not Astorino and his cronies. It is the ever-growing number of working poor who cannot, just because funding is cut, go somewhere else. Many women rely on these clinics for contraceptives, pap smears, and cancer screenings, among other things. Their children go for check-ups, immunizations, and so much more.

This cut to neighborhood health centers is clearly a politically motivated action by a man who has done nothing to prepare the County for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act which starts to take effect here in Westchester in 2013.

Astorino’s attack on our health care is driven by ideology. Astorino opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life, and vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities.

He opposes the Affordable Care Act and is against recognizing contraceptives as part of preventative care.

By supporting this Paul Ryan-like budget, Virginia Perez and Mike Kaplowitz, as well as Jim Maisano and Bernice Spreckman, have aligned themselves with Astorino’s ideological war on women and our families.

â–ºAstorino, with their support, cut funding for childcare programs that would have enabled women to work. The budget raised the family share for subsidized childcare to unaffordable levels.

The Astorino budget caps the number of Westchester kids ever to be allowed to be served by the Title XX program at a level reached last spring. Title XX is program that helps people earning less than the poverty level to have access to childcare funding. (As I said, Astorino is anti-abortion and anti-child, especially if they are the children of the working poor!)

This nightmarish budget also cut all funding to a program that has provided technical assistance to childcare providers and visits to legally exempt providers so there would be some reliable quality of services. Basically, this program has made facilities safer, and because of this administration, it can’t anymore!

â–ºAstorino, with the support of Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano and Spreckman, cut all the funding to the Food Patch ($72,000) and to the Food Pantry ($72,000).

Women now won’t be able to work because of having no childcare; we won’t be able to access health care in real time; and we won’t be able to feed our families with the help from the pantries which we will now need more than ever because we can’t work without childcare.

This is the ideological agenda that Virginia Perez, Mike Kaplowitz, Jim Maisano and Bernice Spreckman support.

It is time to hold our legislators accountable. All of the County legislators and the County Executive are up for election in 2013. Let’s remind Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano, and Spreckman that we do not vote for traitors!

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