Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Westchester CCE Threatened by new County Budget!

From the Director of Westchester CCE:

You may have already read that the budget County Executive Astorino sent to the Board of Legislators cuts all county appropriations to Cornell Cooperative Extension.  The way our funding works, the law requires the county to first make an appropriation.  Then, after the county appropriates funding support to CCE, the state, federal and Cornell funds kick in as support to CCE.  If the county does not make an appropriation to CCE, none of the other funds will flow, either and CCE will cease to exist in Westchester County.

            The law was set up this way because cooperative extension is a cooperating agreement between the county, state, federal government and Cornell.  If the county wants to have a cooperative extension office, it must show good faith by making its appropriation first.  Since no appropriation is included in the County Executive’s 2011 proposed budget, CCE will cease to exist on January 1, 2011.  If CCE does not exist, the Master Gardener program in Westchester County will cease to exist, also.  All of the horticulture and pest management services, along with the nutrition education and 4-H program will also cease to exist in Westchester County. 

            The County Executive’s budget is now in the hands of the Board of Legislators.  They can modify it and include CCE.  If they are persuaded to do that and an appropriation is made to CCE, the County will continue to receive the state, federal and Cornell support .  And – the Master Gardener program will continue.

Call County Executive Astorino's office to say "no way!" 914.995.2900

Email or call you County Legislator, as well!

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