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Westchester County Legislators Present State Legislators with 2017 Legislative Priorities PDF Print Email


By Matt Richter, Communications Director, Westchester County Board of Legislators

Mar. 22, 2017:  On Thursday, March 16, the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Legislation Committee, met with members of Westchester County's state legislators for the purpose of presenting and discussing the 2017 Joint Legislative Package.

The 2017 package contains 20 legislative items to be submitted through Westchester state legislators for consideration by the state legislature and governor in the current state legislative session. 

The joint legislative package, which is submitted annually, represents measures that Westchester legislators have identified as being of particular importance or urgency. As in recent years, most of the legislative items submitted for consideration deal with the overarching issue of unfunded mandates and mandate relief.

Legislator Virginia Perez (D) Yonkers is chair of the legislation committee. An item of particular importance to Legislator Perez is the first item in the legislative package, which is a proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York. In April of 2016, the board of legislators passed a resolution commonly referred to as "Raise the Age." The age of criminal responsibility in New York is 16 years old. It is the board of legislators' belief that treating and incarcerating 16-year-olds with adults does far more to harm than it does to try to rehabilitate them. The "Raise the Age" legislation would not apply to individuals charged with violent crimes.

Legislator Perez's brother Martin was killed in a shooting by two young men, one, 17, and the other, 18. The trigger man had prior convictions and had served time in jail. Perez believes that if this young man, when serving time as a juvenile offender, had received some form of intervention instead of incarceration, he may have changed the direction of his life for the better and Martin Perez may have been alive today.  Legislator Perez said, "We urge the state to consider a modification to the age of criminal responsibility and to find ways to rescue these kids from a criminal justice process that may in fact push them toward a life of criminal activity and that would ultimately make them a drain on our resources."

The key to getting this resolution passed is an agreement by the state that they would fund the additional costs associated with handling these youth offenders' cases outside a jail setting. 

Westchester would need to hire ten new probation officers to manage youthful offenders who are offered alternatives to incarceration. The "Raise the Age" legislation has passed the assembly with the requisite funding. The state senate and governor have yet to pass and properly fund this critical legislation.

Other items in the legislative package from Westchester County:

• State reimbursement to counties for full amount of expenditures for indigent legal services

• Secure more money for the Bee-Line Bus Service

• Restore funding for Hudson Valley 211 hotline

• Child care subsidy funding

• Request funding for state-mandated rape kit law

• Provide Medicaid mandate relief for counties

Participants in the meeting from the state delegation were Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman Steve Otis, and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow.

Pictured here
:  Meeting of the Westchester County Board of Legislators with Westchester's state legislators.

Photo courtesy Matt Richter, Communications Director, Westchester County Board of Legislators



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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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