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The Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee Approves Tentative County Budget
Funds Added for 24/7 Rape Crisis Advocacy

Published: 11/21/2014

For More Information Contact:

Catherine Durland (845) 486-2103

Poughkeepsie, NY … The Dutchess County Legislature’s Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee approved the tentative county budget with amendments  on Thursday to move to consideration of the full Legislature.  Dutchess lawmakers amendment highlights to the executive’s budget include funding to support 24/7 Rape Crisis Advocacy.  County Executive Marcus Molinaro’s proposed $441.7 million budget include the largest property tax cut in over a decade, a decrease in spending with continued cost reductions, the smallest workforce in 32 years and a stabilized fund balance at 5 %.

Rob Rolison, Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature and Majority Leader Angela Flesland proposed an additional $75,000 to provide further funding to support the 24/7 Rape Crisis Advocacy (RCA), a component of the Crime Victims Assistance Program (CVAP).  The program would fall under the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office purview and Family Services would administer the program.

The Department of Health in 2014 took over responsibility from Family Services for the forensic nurse exams as part of the SAFE program and removed all funding for the program, $75,000, in the 2015 budget. However, Family Services continues to provide direct assistance – support and advocacy – to victims and their families critically needed once a rape/sexual assault is reported and the forensic exam is done.

Chairman Rob Rolison stated “Sexual assault has immediate and long-term effects that can be devastating to the victim physically, emotionally, and even carrying out everyday functions such as work or school activities.  By providing support, assistance and information in the aftermath of sexual assault is vital to begin the healing process. The 24/7 Crime Victim Assistance Program offers critical services, therefore, I fully support the County’s commitment to providing assistance to victims of sexual assault.”

Majority Leader Angela Flesland stated, “One in four women is sexually assaulted during her lifetime. We need to make sure the resources are in place to empower women following an assault so they can become stronger than their attacker.”

Dale Borchert, Chairman of the Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee stated, “Overall, I was pleased with the review process and the budget we are moving forward to the full Legislature to consider. I appreciate the members of the committee, department heads, administration, and budget office for their responsiveness and participation throughout the process.”

Bill Grady, Dutchess County District Attorney stated, “The District Attorney’s Office has and will continue to be an active partner in protecting victims of sexual assault. We look forward to continued efforts with Family Services in this capacity.  I would like to commend Chairman Rolison, Majority Leader Flesland, and the Legislature for this much needed funding.”

Brian Doyle of Family Services stated, “On behalf of our fellow citizens who are victims if these horrific crimes, we are grateful to the County for its continued support of Family Services’ work. This funding will enable us to provide the needed advocacy and support for those who suffer such life altering trauma, so that they may recover their lives”

Marcus Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive stated, "Thank you to the members of Budget & Finance Committee and Committee Chair Dale Borchert, for the overwhelming support of my 2015 proposed budget. Together we are cutting spending for the 3rd year in a row, cutting the tax levy by the largest amount in 14 years and enabling county taxpayers to qualify for a state funded rebate check.    The budget process is moving along very well and I am grateful. I also encourage residents to continue to share their feedback at our upcoming public hearings and town hall forums."

A public hearing on the 2015 amended budget will be held on Tuesday, December 2nd at 7 PM.  The amended budget will go to the full Legislature for consideration on Thursday, December 4th at 7 PM.  Both meetings will be held in the Legislative Chambers located on the 6th floor of 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie.  The County Executive can accept or veto any changes made by the Legislature. In turn, the Legislature can override any vetoes by a 2/3 vote. According to the County Charter a balanced budget must be adopted no later than December 20th.