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Onondaga County's 2020 Budget Breezes Through Legislature With No Amendments

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Scott Willis
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WAER-FM 88.3

Onondaga County lawmakers Tuesday gave their final approval to a $1.33 billion budget that lays out the county’s priorities for next year. 

Chairman Dave Knapp says it helped that the county executive sent over a solid proposal to begin with. 

"I've been very, very happy with the collaboration, putting party labels aside, getting down to work, producing a really good budget for the folks of the county.  Again, a historic low tax rate, yet we're still accomplishing our goals," Knapp said.

Republican Majority Leader Brian May also said the budget is something to be proud of. 

"There's a very complex and comprehensive strategy for infrastructure throughout the county, there are various strategic investments in early childhood initiatives. One is to address the issues we've had the past couple of years in foster care," May said.

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Credit Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3
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WAER-FM 88.3
Legislature Chair Dave Knapp and 2nd district Legislator Jim Rowley.

Even democrats were pleased.  Minority leader Linda Ervin says they had plenty of input in the process, and was glad her republican colleagues stuck with what was proposed by the county executive.

"When he sent it over, it was a good budget, and I'm happy they [republicans] did not attack it and try to tear it apart," she said with a laugh.  "When they did try to,  we got them back on task."

Ervin was also relieved that they went along with the county executive’s proposal to establish a new Office of Diversity and Inclusion with the goal of boosting minority hiring.

"When the county executive announced it, I made certain that he was going to do it, and he actually came through with it, and they [republicans] surprisingly agreed with it," she said.

The new budget takes effect January first.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at srwillis@syr.edu.