Democrats Walk Out; Westchester Budget Bill Approved Without Them
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A scene of chaos erupted in Westchester County this week, as lawmakers passed a budget bill after all but two Democrats walked out of the meeting.
Amid contentious debate on the budget, Westchester County Legislature Budget and Appropriations Committee chair Judy Myers, a Democrat, proposed that the budget be sent back to committee for review. Afterward, legislature Chairman Ken Jenkins adjourned the meeting, according to the Daily Voice.
Democratic lawmakers then walked out of the of the Friday afternoon Westchester County Legislature hearing in White Plains.
But with Democratic legislators Virginia Perez and Michael Kaplowitz still in the room, those who remained in the hearing went ahead and voted on the budget anyway after calling a quorum, the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Daily Voice reported.
The $1.7 billion budget passed by a vote of 9-0 and was signed by County Executive Robert Astorino on the spot.
Speaking to Lohud.com, Majority Leader Peter Harckham said the actions by the Republicans, along with Perez and Kaplowitz, made “a mockery of the legislative process,” as the meeting had been officially adjourned.
Democrats who walked out said they will not recognize the vote to approve the bill.
The Republican budget that was approved keeps the tax levy flat, and restores 30 or more of 126 jobs initially proposed for elimination by Astorino, a Republican, the Daily Voice reported.
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