FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2012
Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-815-4462 (cell)
County Board Files Motion to Vacate
Court Decision on Child Care
White Plains, NY – The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) will be heading to court on the issue of child care subsidies, having recently filed a motion to vacate a Westchester court’s August 20th decision permitting County Executive Robert P. Astorino to increase the family contribution for daycare funding from 20% to 35% of the portion of income that exceeds the federal poverty level.
The motion to show cause to vacate decision and order, which was filed in NY State Supreme Court, will be heard on October 17 by Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert A. Neary.
The BOL argues in its motion to vacate that the BOL was not a named a party in the child care subsidy case—and should have been. Furthermore, the BOL points out that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider whether the court’s approval of the family share increase for child care was proper without the Astorino Administration bringing the BOL into the legal proceedings as a party.
“Like all person and entities, the Board of Legislators, consisting of seventeen elected members, is entitled to proper notice of an opportunity to be heard when a court is considering any issue that would impact the Board’s legislation or statutory powers,” said Jenkins. “Regrettably, the Board was never brought into proceedings on this decision, which is wholly unfair and an affront, as well, to the democratic principle of separation of governing powers.”
The legislation in this case was the finally adopted 2012 County Budget Act, which set the family contribution parent share for child care funding at 20%. Jenkins noted that the court’s August 20th decision overturns a lawfully enacted legislation by the BOL.
As for the Astorino Administration’s continuous mischaracterizing of the family share increase as the result of the BOL not budgeting enough money for the program, Jenkins said, “The Astorino Administration broke the law when it withheld the departmental requests from the Board of Legislators during the budget process. We now know those omissions have caused a $30 million operating deficit for 2012. The Board gave the Department of Social Services the amount of money to fund the child care programs that was in the budget and with a projected $7.2 million dollar surplus in the department, these important programs can certainly be fully funded.”
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