Rockland County Legislative Vice Chairman Alden H. Wolfe has asked Governor Andrew Cuomo to call a special session of the State Legislature for the purpose of voting on Rockland’s home rule request. The measure would authorize the county to finance its deficit by the issuance of bonds.
The home rule request was introduced in the State Assembly on June 21, the last day of the 2012 session, by Assemblymembers Ellen Jaffee, Kenneth Zebrowski, Annie Rabbitt and Nancy Calhoun. It was passed by the Assembly, but did not move out of committee in the Senate.
In a letter to the Governor dated July 9, Wolfe outlined the history of Rockland's efforts to address the accumulated deficit and the emergency steps taken in response to earlier inaction by the State Senate. He also explained how important the deficit financing legislation is to Rockland's finances. Standard and Poors joined Moody's Investor Services in reducing Rockland's bond rating. Wolfe cited inaction by the State Senate in passing the deficit financing legislation.
In a letter to Senator David Carlucci, also dated July 9th, Wolfe called upon him to take an active role in advocating for a special session to allow the Senate to address Rockland’s request. The $80 million bond would pay down a substantial portion of the county’s $95 million deficit.
“Senator Carlucci was sent to Albany to be an advocate for Rockland's residents,” said Wolfe. “I'm asking him to do more than simply adding his name to a piece of paper. I hope that he will join me in actively pursuing a special session where this critical legislation can be passed. As our only State Senator, and the sole sponsor of the Senate Bill, his active participation is most critical.”
Carlucci issued a response to Wolfe.
"During this past legislative session, I worked hard to pass deficit bonding legislation for Rockland County," commented Carlucci. "I was disappointed that the Senate Majority decided to not put forth this legislation. I am committed to working with County leaders to restore Rockland's long term fiscal health."