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Hudson Valley News story
Ways and Means Committee Chairperson Susan Cummings has already extended an invitation to the senior Democrat on the committee to share the leadership during the review of the 2006 budget. ,I think it,s only appropriate that since the Democrats will be in control, for 2006, that they definitely have a lot of input in the 2006 budget.
Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Susan Cummings, R-Wawarsing, said the panel will begin reviewing budget proposals on Thursday, but she does not think lawmakers will be able to vote on the 2005 tentative budget on Dec. 8, as initially planned, due to the enormous amount of information they need to digest in order to make informed decisions on the spending plan.
"Year after year, we try to keep property taxes down," said Susan Cummings, chairwoman of the Legislature's Ways and Means Committee."We have people living on fixed incomes, we have people buying homes, and we want to keep them here.If there's a way to generate additional revenue, I think we want to pursue it." Cummings
, R-Ellenville, said the average homeowner probably would pay more in property taxes than the mortgage tax would cost them if the county does not take steps to hold down the property tax.
The Legislature's majority leader, Susan Cummings, said closed-door caucuses are appropriate in certain situations because some lawmakers are more comfortable speaking their minds and asking questions out of the public's view.
"But on the other hand, if they (Democrats) have criticized the Republicans all through the campaign for 'secret meetings,' it just seems ironic that they're following our lead," said Cummings
Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Susan Cummings, R-Wawarsing, Gerentine, and County Administrator Arthur Smith used those guidelines to produce a list of proposed cuts, much to the ire of some Legislature Democrats, who were critical of their exclusion from the process.