Poughkeepsie… As part of the 2008 Executive Budget, County Executive William R. Steinhaus has continued to target funding to important health and human service programs for residents and families. The Executive’s 2008 budget prioritizes several key health and human services programs while providing for a considerable tax rate decrease for taxpayers. The county’s 2008 tax levy will also be reduced by keeping the 2008 spending change below the rate of inflation.
“We continue our commitment to a healthy Dutchess County with programs emphasizing prevention and long-term benefits,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “We will continue to make wise investments in the health and future of our community by strengthening and expanding our human services programs. We will see those investments recouped with potential long term savings for our taxpayers.”
CHILDREN’S HEALTH PRIORITIES:
Children’s health remains a top priority. The 2008 Executive Budget makes a major commitment to the successful, comprehensive Tobacco Use Prevention and Childhood Obesity programs for young people with an allocation of $525,000 through his Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) created by County Executive Steinhaus in 1999 as part of the Children’s Services Council. “CHI funded services use research-based, effective prevention strategies to discourage our youth from smoking and work to increase their healthy eating and exercise behaviors. This funding is an investment in our children and our future. The research data proves we are getting tremendous return on our funding investments,” said County Executive Steinhaus.
- Recent research by the Choices for Change Coalition shows a 33% decrease in tobacco use among Southern Dutchess teens since the implementation of Steinhaus’ initiative.
- The 2008 allocation will bring the Steinhaus funding commitment for these children’s health initiatives to an impressive total of nearly $4 million.
“This children’s health strategy is saving lives and will have a positive health impact for generations” said the Executive.
County government will continue to be a role model as a HEART Safe Community with $25,000 in funding to purchase 12 additional automated external defibrillators (AED) for the county’s public buildings including the highway department, airport and parks. County Executive Steinhaus recently launched Dutchess County’s HEART Safe Community Program in partnership with the American Heart Association. The aim of the HEART Safe Community program is to improve the chances for anyone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest to have the best chance for survival through the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and increased access to defibrillation devices.
Dutchess County’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, one of the only locally funded programs nationwide, will receive more than $110,000 in resources including $65,000 to fund mini-grants and outreach efforts to address action steps based on the results of the Community Needs Assessment unveiled recently at the meeting of the Cancer Consortium at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center in Hyde Park. “We have brought together community leaders from healthcare providers, government, business and non-profit. The Community Needs Assessment highlights where the areas of cancer care where we are strong as well as the areas that need to be improved. The 2008 funding will help strengthen areas of concern and move us toward our goal of reducing the burden of cancer in Dutchess County,” said Steinhaus.
More than $200,000 has been allocated for the Department of Social Services (DSS) to hire additional Child Protective Services case workers as part of their investigation of abuse and/or neglect of children. CPS case managers work to keep families together and ensure children remain safe through service plans which include counseling for families, substance abuse treatment, and domestic violence services.
“Our goal is to improve positive outcomes for the children and families of our community,” states County Executive Steinhaus.
“Every year, we work to create a balance between providing the residents of Dutchess County important services they need and the tax relief they deserve. We will once again achieve both of those goals with the 2008 Executive budget,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.