Westchester Legislature schedules new votes on bills Astorino allowed to become law; one provision is sticking point

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The Westchester County Board of Legislators passed five acts on May 21 approving contracts under the county’s Invest in Kids program. The contracts, approved unanimously, would fund programs in New Rochelle, White Plains and Peekskill.

On June 1, County Executive Rob Astorino allowed the acts to become law without his signature but sent letters to the board objecting to language in each act saying the board would have to approve any change to the contracts.

The acts “purport to limit the powers and authority vested in me as County Executive under the [Laws of Westchester County]. Such curtailment cannot be accomplished by an Act of your Honorable Board,” Astorino wrote.

In response, the board has scheduled votes to reconsider the law, which is allowed under the board’s rules, for Monday at its regular meeting. Reconsiderations can be requested by someone on the winning side of a vote before it’s sent to the county executive or after it is returned with his approval (actually the language in the rules is inconsistent but it appears to apply to laws approved by the executive).

Though the seven members of the minority Republican caucus voted for the original bills, it’s not clear how they will react to the request to vote again. Republican Minority Leader Jim Maisano of New Rochelle called it political theater.

The dispute is the latest of many fights over the limits county executive’s power to cancel or alter programs.

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  1. Matt Richter on

    Here is the rest of Minority Leader, Legislator Jim Maisano’s statement;

    “This vote should not happen. The County Executive did not veto the legislation. His communication to the board was not a veto message. If the democrats insist on staging a veto override vote on Monday, it will be nothing but political theater.”

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