Several legislators commented on the amendment, both for and against it.
“It’s a small amount but it’s important,” Legislator Keith Batman, D-Scipio, said. “We are making a statement that we support literacy.”
The amendment failed with Pecher and Dennison and Legislators Paul Pinckney, R-Aurelius, and Mike Didio, R-Auburn, all joining Tucker while the remaining members voted against it.
An amendment brought by Legislator Chris Petrus, R-Brutus, to add $53,000 for a Department of Motor Vehicles clerk position that was slated for elimination also was defeated. Petrus was joined by Dennison, Pecher and Legislator Timothy Lattimore, R-Auburn, but the majority was against adding the funds.
The Legislature did push through an amendment to add $32,500 to the budget for the Cayuga County Public Utility Service Agency budget, but it was basically a bookkeeping matter to keep the agency whole. CCPUSA had the same amount budgeted for 2020 but did not spend it.
Spending cuts in the budget include the elimination of nine full-time and two half-year positions, most of which would come from positions that are currently vacant. The plan also adds three full-time and one part-time position.
The budget also established a new leadership structure for 2021. The legislative chairperson, who will be chosen at the board’s reorganizational meeting Jan. 5, will be day-to-day leader of county government with a salary of $60,000. That’s double the standard salary for this position, which has been considered part-time with an appointed county administrator in charge of daily functions.